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THE 



DOCTRINES AND POLITY 



OF THK 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL 
CHURCH, SOUTH. 



PART FIRST 

BY REV. WILBUR F.'TILLETT, D.D., 
Dean of the Theological Faculty of Vanderbilt University. 

PART SECOND 

BY REV. JAMES ATKINS. D.D., 

Sun,day School Editor. 



Nashville, Tenn.; Dallas, Tex.: 
PuBLisBiNQ House of the M. E. Chcbch, Sooth. 
Bmith & Lauar, Aoentb. 
1906. 



CoPTRtOHTKO BY 

BioHAM & Smith, Agkktk 
1903. 



CONTENTS, 



PART FIRST. 

The Doctrines of the Methodist 
Episcopal Chubch, South. 

Paqe 

Preface 2 

I. Introduction: The Distinguishing 
Doctrines and Features of Meth- 
odist Theology 3 

II. The Holy Scriptures 12 

III. The Doctrine of God 23 

IV. The Bible Doctrine of Man 36 

V, Christ the Redeemer 46 

VI. The Doctrines Pertaining to Per- 
sonal Salvation 57 

VII. The Doctrine of the Future Life 70 

VIII. The Doctrine of the Church 83 



PART SECOND. 

The Polity of the Methodist 
Episcopal Chubch, South. 

Preface 92 

I. The General Rules. .,.,,., 93 

(iii) 



IV COWTENTS. 

Paok 

II. The Conferences of Methodism 118 

General Boards 125 

III. The Itinerancy 128 

IV. Our Ministry 138 

V. Our Connectionalism 144 

VI. Fields of Work 156 

Missions 156 

Woman's Home Mission Society 162 

The Sunday School 165 

The Board of Church Extension 168 

The Epworth League 169 

The Board of Education 171 

Statistics of the Methodist Episcopal 

Church, South 172 



PART FIRST. 



THE DOCTRINES 

OF THE 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 
SOUTH. 



By Rev. Wilbur F. Tillett, D.D., 

Dean of the Theological Faculty of Vanderbilt 

University. 



PREFATORY NOTE. 

To write a brief treatise that shall cover the 
entire range of Christian doctrine, and yet be 
neither a bare and dry skeleton, on the one hand, 
nor a dull, superficial statement of mere common- 
places, on the other, is the difficult task that has 
been assigned to the author in this little volume. 
In trying thus to combine brevity, clearness, and 
completeness the author has kept constantly in 
mind the class of readers for whom the volume 
is intended — viz., Sunday school teachers, can- 
didates for the ministry, and Bible students gen- 
erally, who desire to know what are the cardi- 
nal doctrines of the Bible as it is interpreted by 
the great body of evangelical Christian believers. 

That the doctrines of the Bible, rightly in- 
terpreted, and the doctrines of Methodism, 
rightly stated, are one and the same, this writer 
steadfastly believes, and in that faith this trea- 
tise has been written, and is now sent forth in 
the humble hope that it may give to those who 
read ^it a greater faith in their faith, and thus 
enable them the better to give to others a reason 
for the hope and the faith that is in them. 

WlLBTTK F. TiLLBTT. 



Introduction. 

THE DISTINGUISEINO DOCTRINES AND FEATURES 
OF METHODIST THEOLOGY. 

Methodism represents a distinct system of 
Christian doctrine, and also a type of Church 
polity. Methodists are not one the world 
over in their ecclesiastical polity: some are 
episcopal, some presbyterial, and some congre- 
gational. But all Methodists are practically 
a unit the world over in the type of theology 
which they hold. Most of the cardinal doc- 
trines of Methodism are held in common with 
all evangelical Christian Churches. Such, 
for example, are the inspiration and divine 
authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Triuni- 
ty of the Godhead, the divinity of Christ, the 
fall of man and the universal sinfulness of the 
race, justification by faith, the necessity of 
regeneration, the future and eternal existence 
of all men after death, and many other simi- 
lar doctrines of the highest significance. 

But there are certain other doctrines which, 
though not held exclusively by Methodists, 
have at least been more strongly emphasized 

(3) 



4 THB DOCTBINIIS OF METHODISM. 

in the faith and preaching of Methodism than 
in any other branch of the Christian Church, 
Among these may be mentioned the follow- 
ing: the moral free agency and accountability 
of man, the unlimited atonement of Christ, 
the witness of the Spirit testifying to the re- 
generate man of his acceptance with God, the 
possibility of apostasy, and the attainability 
of entire holiness in this life. 

Methodism has been the instrument in the 
hands of God of saving during the century 
and a half of its existence not less perhaps 
than fifteen to twenty millions of immortal 
souls. This result, which is without a prece- 
dent in the history of the Christian Church, 
is to be attributed in no small degree to the 
intensely earnest and practical character of 
its theology. " It was not new doctrine but 
new life that the Methodists sought for them- 
selves and for others," says Bishop McTyeire 
in the opening sentence of his "History of 
Methodism." But the history of the Chris- 
tian Church has established the fact that 
progress in the spiritual life and maintenance 
of sound doctrine are vitally related to each 
other. 

The doctrinal system of Methodism is some- 
times designated as "Arminian theology." 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

This designation connects it with the name of 
James Arminius (1560-1609), a noted theolo- 
gian of Holland. As Martin Luther and his 
fellow-reformers, although reared in the 
Church of Rome, were led by their enlight- 
ened convictions to protest against what they 
considered the corrupt practices and false 
teachings of this Church, and were for that 
reason called Protestants, so James Arminius 
and his associates, although first instructed in 
the strict teachings of high Calvinism, felt com- 
pelled to utter a remonstrance against certain 
extreme Calvinistic doctrines concerning pre- 
destination, election, reprobation, etc., and 
were for that reason called Remonstrants. 
The celebrated "five points" of Calvinism, 
setting forth the peculiar and distinctive doc- 
trines of that system of theology, were offset 
by the no less distinctive "five points" of 
Arminianism, viz.: ( 1 ) Conditional election — 
that is, God elected to salvation those who, he 
foresaw, would freely repent of their sins and 
believe in Christ, and to reprobation those 
whose willful impenitence and unbelief .he 
foresaw. (2) Jesus Christ died alike for all 
men, but only those who repent and believe 
will secure the- saving benefits of his atoning 
death. (3) The ability of fallen man to re- 



6 THE DOCTEINBS OF METHODISM. 

pent and believe is of grace and not of nature, 
and spiritual renewal or regeneration is en- 
tirely of the Spirit's operation. (4) Never- 
theless divine grace and the influence of the 
Spirit are not, as Calvinism affirms, irresistible; 
but may be resisted by man, who is a moral 
free agent, and who, though he may be con- 
victed of sin against his will, is never con- 
verted against his will. (5) The possibility 
of a truly regenerated man falling away from 
his saved estate and being finally lost was first 
left an open question, but was soon decided, 
as the logic of the system required that it should 
be, in the affirmative. 

The doctrinal system of Methodism is also 
designated as "Wesleyan theology." This 
designation associates it with the names of 
John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley 
(1703-1791) was perhaps the greatest reform- 
er, preacher, and evangelist that has ever ap- 
peared in England. Methodism is but one of 
the many results that have come from his life 
and labors. John Wesley's theology was in- 
tensely evangelical and practical, and, like 
that of the apostle Paul, was to a large extent 
colored by his own religious experience. He 
accepted the system formulated by James Ar- 
minius and the Remonstrants of Holland, in 



IXTBODUCTION. 



all the points wherein that system differed 
from Calvinism. But he did something more 
for it than accept it. Arminian theology, as 
it was formulated by the Remonstrants, was, 
as an intellectual system of doctrine, logical, 
self-consistent, and true; but it was cold; it 
was lacking in the warmth and intensity of 
spiritual life; it needed to be quickened by 
the faith and the fire of an evangelical experi- 
ence. This is exactly what John Wesley did 
with it and for it. He carried it, as it were, 
to the altar, and there it was baptized with 
the Holy Ghost; and, surcharged with evan- 
gelical life and converting power, it was sent 
forth upon its world-wide mission of evangel- 
ization. In Methodism we find the doctrines 
of Arminius put into practice as living truths, 
made matters of personal religious experience, 
and utilized as mighty spiritual forces for 
saving souls and spreading the kingdom of 
Christ. In Wesleyan theology the intensive 
power of the gospel to save each individual 
from all sin is as much emphasized as is its ex- 
tensive power to save all sinners, whoever 
they may be and whenever and wherever 
they may live. 

In 1784 John Wesley reduced the thirty- 
nine Articles of the Church of England to 



» THE I>OCTKINES OF METHODISM. 

twenty-five in number, and abridged and otli- 
erwise altered some of those which he retained. 
These he sent to America by Thomas Coke, 
whom he had ordained bishop, and they were 
accepted as the general creed of Episcopal 
Methodism in America. They have ever 
since occupied a foremost place among our 
doctrinal standards. 

John Wesley's sermons also have always 
been numbered among the leading ' ' doctrinal 
standards" of Methodism. They may be 
lacking here and there in the accuracy and 
uniform self-consistency of doctrinal state- 
ment that we have a right to expect in works 
of dogmatic theology, but what they lack in 
these respects they more than gain in the 
spiritual power that belongs to them as 
sermons glowing with a living Christian ex- 
perience and setting forth the great truths 
that pertain to man's salvation. Richard 
Watson's "Theological Institutes" may not 
be altogether up to date, but they have in 
them a theology that is well adapted to the 
world's conversion and upbuilding in the spir- 
itual life. Adam Clarke, the first great repre- 
sentative commentator of Methodism, showed 
by his able and scholarly expositions of the 
Holy Scriptures how thoroughly faithful to 



INTRODUCTION. 



the Bible were the doctrinal teachings of 
Methodism. 

Charles Wesley, the poet-preacher and the- 
ologian, rendered a service to the theology of 
Methodism scarcely less important and far- 
reaching than that of his brother John. He 
gave happy expression in verse to all the 
great doctrines of Christianity, and he was 
especially happy in the hymns which he wrote 
embodying the more distinctive doctrines of 
his faith. These hymns became at once im- 
mensely popular with the people, and gave 
wings, as it were, to the doctrines they em- 
bodied. A sermon put into a song doubles 
its power for good. Nor did these doctrinal 
hymns of Charles Wesley simply meet a local 
and temporary need; they have an abiding 
value, and have carried, in the most effective 
manner possible, the doctrines they contain 
into the hymnals of all Christian Churches 
the world over. While John Wesley's hymns 
are not numerous, and are mostly translations 
from other languages, they are in no way in- 
ferior to those of Charles Wesley either in 
poetic merit or doctrinal value. It is in por- 
traying those doctrines which are matters of 
religious experience that the Wesleyan hymns 
are richest both in variety and in intensity of 



10 THJ£ DOCTBINES OF METHODISM. 

utterance. The great reformation in Germa- 
ny in the sixteenth centuiy owed much to the 
fact that Luther was a poet as well as a 
preacher, and embodied all his leading doc- 
trines in simple and popular hymns that were 
adapted to the common people as well as in 
sermons and theses that were adapted to the 
learned. But the Wesleyan reformation owed 
even more to its hymns. " Let me write the 
songs of a people," said one, "and I care not 
who may write their laws; I will govern 
them." " Let me write the hymns of a 
Church," said another, "and I care not who 
may write her creeds and ponderous volumes 
of theology; I will determine the faith of her 
membership." The Methodist hymn book 
has always been reckoned among the doctri- 
nal standards of the Church. It has ever 
been one of the most effective of the agencies 
employed for . indoctrinating the people in 
that type of evangelical Christian faith which 
is known the world over as Methodist theology. 
But the designation of Methodist theology 
as "Ai-minian " and "Wesleyan " must not be 
misunderstood. Methodist theology is first 
of all and above all biblical. Every evangel- 
ical Church recognizes the Bible as the source 
and foundation of its theology. It is after 



INTBODUCTION. 11 

all simply a question of the proper interpreta- 
tion of the Bible. Calvinism is a logical and 
self-consistent system of doctrine which finds 
its starting point and its determining princi- 
ple in the eternal decrees of Jehovah, and in- 
terprets the entire revelation contained in 
the Bible in accordance with that doctrine. 
Methodism also has a logical and self -consist- 
ent system of doctrine which in like manner 
is based upon the Bible, but it finds its start- 
ing point and determining principle in two 
doctrines that mutually necessitate and sup- 
port each other — viz'. , the moral free agency 
of man and the unlimited atonement of Christ; 
and we may say that every other doctrine of 
Methodist theology is a logical outcome of 
these two doctrines. Methodism, therefore, 
claims that its theology is the theology of the 
New Testament, the theology of Christ and of 
Paul. It is that simple and primitive type of 
theology which began to be preached in its 
completed form on the day of Pentecost, and 
has never since been without its true witness- 
es in any age of the Church's history. It has 
needed, however, to be restated and reformu- 
lated ever and anon. Such was the service 
rendered by James Arminius and John Wes- 
ley, and by others before and since their day. 



n. 

The HoiiY Scriptures. 

What doctrine does Methodism hold con- 
cerning the Holy Scriptures? This is best 
answered by first asking another question: 
What does the Bible teach concerning itself? 
The Bible teaches, we answer, that "All Scrip- 
ture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor- 
rection, for instruction in righteousness: that 
the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly 
furnished unto all good works." It teaches 
that "prophecy came not in old time by the 
will of man: but holy men of God spake as 
they were moved by the Holy Ghost; " and that 
"God, who at sundry times and in divers 
manners spake in time past unto the fathers 
by the prophets, hath in these last days spo- 
ken unto us by his Son." Moses is represent- 
ed as having received directly from God the 
Ten Commandments, which are with us to 
this day, and whose high moral character 
well befits their claim of a divine origin. 
"The word of the Lord came unto me, say- 
ing," is the preface with which the proph- 
ets begin their messages. These remarkable 
(12) 



THE HOLY SCKIPTURES. 13 

claims demand of us that we make serious in- 
quiry as to their import. If this Book is 
what it claims to be, no man can afford to ig- 
nore oi: neglect its teachings. ' ' These [things] 
are written," says St. John, in concluding the 
fom-th Gospel, and it is in a sense equally 
true of all Scripture, "that ye might believe 
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and 
that believing ye might have life through his 
name." 

These quotations cover the three main 
questions which we need to ask concerning 
the Bible, and suggest the proper answers to 
them: (1) Where did the Bible come from? 
We answer that it is divine in its origin, in 
that its cardinal and distinguishing doctrines 
were revealed by God to man. (2) How did 
God reveal these facts and doctrines? We 
answer: Through certain chosen men whom 
the Holy Spirit inspired as trustworthy or- 
gans for the communication of the divine 
will. (3) What purpose are these inspired 
Scriptures designed to fill in the divine econ- 
omy as it concerns man? We answer: They 
are a divinely provided guide for man in all 
matters of a moral and spiritual nature, espe- 
cially such as pertain to his faith and conduct 
here and his life in the world to come. Thus 



14 THB DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

we have the three theological terms, revela- 
tion^ iTisjpiration^ and the canon^ answering 
the three questions as to the whence^ the how^ 
and the what of the Holy Scriptures. 

God reveals something of himself and of 
his will through nature and providence, but 
this general revelation has always proved in- 
adequate to meet man's spiritual needs, being 
insufficient to impart a true and satisfactory 
knowledge of God, of the way of salvation, 
and of the immortality and destiny of the 
soul. That religious knowledge which fallen 
man needed but could not secure from nature, 
God has supplied in a supernatural manner by 
revelation. ' It is these divine or supernaturally 
revealed facts and truths which, as collected 
together within the Bible, constitute it a di- 
vine Book. Nevertheless, the Bible is not 
wholly divine; it is rather divine-human, for 
much that is contained in it is human in its ori- 
gin and did not need to be divinely revealed. 
This unrevealed portion of the Bible is, in fact, 
the larger portion. It is, however, a faithful 
and trustworthy record, quite as much as is 
that portion which records the divine revela- 
tions. The human elements furnish the lit- 
erary and historical framework for holding 
the divinely revealed truths. The divine rev- 



THE HOLY SCBlPTirBBS. 15 

elations contained in the Bible are of trans- 
cendent importance, and so far give character 
to the volume as a whole that it is common, 
and not inappropriate, to designate it as the 
Book of Revelation. 

What is the evidence that the Bible contains 
supernatural revelations ? The divine authori- 
ty of the Bible depends upon the truth of the 
claim that it contains supernatural revelations; 
and if this be true, the claim ought to be sup- 
ported by supernatural evidence. And it is. 
The prophets who claimed to have received 
divine revelations proved the truth of their 
assertions by working miracles. When Moses, 
for example, announced to the childi'en of Is- 
rael in Egypt that he had received a revela- 
tion and a command from God in the desert, 
they immediately and very naturally demand- 
ed proof of such a claim. The God who had 
given the revelation had provided for this 
reasonable demand, and empowered him to 
work miracles. In some instances the vindi- 
cation of the divine claim on the part of the 
prophet was found in the fulfillment of pre- 
dictions which he uttered concerning the fu- 
ture. In yet other instances the revelations 
annoimced by the prophets as coming from 
God were self-evidencing — that is, were in 



16 THB DOCTRIirBS OF METHODISM. 

their nature so thoroughly accordant with the 
moral character of God and man's religious 
needs that they carried their own evidence in 
them, and hence did not need to be supported 
by miracles or predictions. Our reason, there- 
fore, for believing that the Bible contains di- 
vine revelations is found in part in the mira- 
cles the prophets and the apostles wrought, 
in part in the fulfillment of their predictions 
of future events, in part in the intrinsic moral 
excellence of the doctrines taught, and finally 
in the uplifting and ennobling moral influence 
the Bible has had upon the character of all 
the nations and individuals that have believed 
and followed its teachings. 

But the passages of Scripture which were 
quoted above seem to teach not only that God 
has made revelations of his will from time to 
time, but that it was his will that a trustwor- 
thy record should be made of these revelations. 
They imply that the Holy Spirit exercised an 
influence upon those who wrote the books of 
Holy Scripture such as cannot be claimed for 
the writers of any other books. This special 
influence of the Holy Spirit upon the minds 
of the biblical writers was designed to prevent 
them from making hurtful mistakes in the 
statements they should give of the great mor- 



THE HOLY SCBIPTTTBBS. 17 

al and spiritual truths of religion, and in an 
important sense to make their words God's 
words, and their book to be God's Book. 
This is what is meant by saying that the bibli- 
cal writers were ' ' inspired. " St. Peter speaks 
of a certain scripture " which the Holy Ghost 
spake by the mouth of David." The author 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews uses inter- 
changeably the expressions "the Holy Ghost 
testifieth " and "one [that is, the writer] in a 
certain place testifieth." In other words, 
what the inspired writer says God says. 

To affirm that the biblical writers were in- 
spired does not mean that they lost their hu- 
man individuality and freedom, and were 
turned into machines. The inspired proph- 
ets and apostles were not shorthand report- 
ers. Only in a few instances do they tell 
us that they wrote down the very "words 
which the Holy Ghost teacheth." In the Ten 
Commandments we have the very words of 
God. But as a rule the expression of the 
thought, even when it was revealed, was de- 
termined by the individual writer, whose 
style and other mental peculiarities may be 
seen everywhere in his writings. There may 
be several accounts of the same events, all 
differing in the words used, and yet all be 
2 



18 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

equally true and accurate. The great pur- 
pose of inspiration is to secure truth in the 
records, not uniformity and sameness of state- 
ment. The four evangelists record very much 
the same events, and yet they differ both in 
literary style and, as a rule, in the words used; 
but all are equally true and equally inspired. 
The various books of the Bible are as genu- 
inely human and as thoroughly marked by the 
individual characteristics of their human au- 
thors as if they had been v^ritten by unin- 
spired men. To recognize the distinctly hu- 
man element in the Bible is not to detract 
from its moral value, but rather to add to its 
value for man's guidance, even as the human- 
ity of Christ makes him a better Saviour than 
if he had possessed no human nature at all. 
Truth is none the less true because uttered by 
human lips. Christ is none the less divine be- 
cause he had a genuinely human nature. 

But the strongest of all arguments in proof 
of the doctrine of biblical inspiration is the 
manner in which Christ refers to the Scrip- 
tures, and the absolute divine authority which 
he attributes to them. To him and to the 
apostles they were none other than God's own 
words. Our Lord made distinct reference to 
David's inspiration when he asks: " How then 



THE HOLY SCRIPTUBES. 19 

doth David in spirit call him Lord^ " If the 
Old Testament was written by divinely in- 
spired men and possessed of divine authority, 
how much more the New, which was the full 
and final expression of the revealed will of 
God! We believe in the New Testament 
chiefly because of what it tells us of Christ; 
and in the Old Testament chiefly because of 
what Christ tells us of it — tells us by the way 
he used it and appealed to it as the very word 
of God. Perhaps the best possible definition 
which we can give of the Holy Scriptures is 
drawn from their relation to Christ, thus: 
"By the Holy Scriptures we mean, (1) those 
ancient sacred books of the Jewish Church 
which Christ and his inspired apostles used 
and appealed to as of divine authority; and 
( 2) those sacred books of the New Testament 
which set forth the life and teachings of our 
Lord, and which were written by or under the 
direction of his apostles." Christianity be- 
lieves in the Person first, and in the Book sec- 
ond. It is the divine-human Person that makes 
the Book, not the divine-human Book that 
makes the Person. Christianity could live 
without a Book, but it coukl not live — indeed, 
it could not be at all — without the Person of 
Christ. 



20 THE DOCTRINES OP METHODISM. 

The Canon of Holy Scripture, then, is noth- 
ing more nor less than that collection of sacred 
books which were written under the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, and the primary object of 
which was to meet man's moral and religious 
needs. They incidentally contain history, bi- 
ography, chronology, philosophy, science, etc., 
but they were not written primarily to teach 
any of these things, and the entire accuracy 
of their statements concerning questions of 
this kind is a matter of absolute insignificance 
as compared with the great moral principles 
and spiritual truths that are the distinguishing 
features of the Christian religion. It is in 
reference to these truths that we appeal to it 
as the divine and authoritative word of God. 

The word " canon " means, literally, a rule; 
and the Holy Scriptures are a canon in that 
they are a divine rule of faith and practice, a 
standard of doctrine and ethics. The word 
" canonical " is also applied to the Holy Scrip- 
tm-es to distinguish them from books which 
were not regarded as inspired and of divine 
authority, such as the Old Testament Apoc- 
rypha. 

There is every reason to believe that the Old 
Testament Scriptures, as we now have them, 
are substantially identical with the Scriptures 



THE HOLY SCJSIPTURKS. 21 

which Christ and the apostles used. These 
Scriptures of the old covenant are not called 
old because they are antiquated and obsolete; 
for, although the dispensation for which they 
were immediately written has long since come 
to an end, having served its purpose, these 
ancient Scriptures have an abiding significance 
and value. A large part of the Old Testament 
is occupied exclusively with setting forth the 
ritual and ceremonial law of the Jewish 
Church, which is not now binding and has 
never been since the day of Pentecost; but, so 
far as they embody God's moral law, they are 
of as much authority now as they ever were, 
and are of equal authority with the New Tes- 
tament. Inasmuch, however, as transitory 
and now obsolete precepts are intermingled 
with those which are of perpetual obligation, 
the Old Testament must be read and inter- 
preted with intelligent discrimination. 

All inspired books are of importance, but 
some are of more importance than others. That 
portion of the Bible which transcends in mor- 
al value all other parts of the Bible is the four 
Gospels. Christianity is a historical religion. 
Its Founder is a Person who lived at a definite 
time and place, and the Gospels purport to 
give a trustworthy record of the leading facts 



22 THK DOCTBINKS OF METHODISM. 

of his life, his sayings and doings. The whole 
question as to whether or not there is a super- 
natural religion in the world depends upon the 
historical trustworthiness of these Gospel rec- 
ords. If any records in the literature of the 
world are entitled to credence, these surely 
are. Paul probably wrote his Epistles many 
years before the Gospels were written. Fo\ir 
of the Pauline Epistles (Romans, First and Sec- 
ond Corinthians, and Galatians) are univer- 
sally admitted by well-nigh all classes of theo- 
logians and critics to be genuine, and to come 
from about the middle of the first century. 
These Epistles establish the fact beyond a 
doubt that Christ was at that time regarded 
as a divine-human Being, who had died upon 
the cross and had risen again from the dead. 
These are the main facts of supernatural reli- 
gion — viz., the incarnation of Christ and his 
resurrection from the dead. If these are true, 
the Gospels are fully confirmed, and the ex- 
istence of a supernatural religion, with its su- 
pernatural Christ, is established. This, we 
saw at the outset, is the supreme and final end 
for which the Scriptures ex^st: ' ' That ye might 
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of 
God; and that believing ye might have life 
through his name." 



m. 

The Doctrine of God. 

"In the beginning God created the heavens 
and the earth." It is impossible to conceive 
a more appropriate sentence with which to 
begin the inspired Book than these simple and 
sublime words. No definition or explanation 
of what is meant by God is given. A certain 
knowledge of God is here presupposed. As 
to how mankind came by the idea of God — 
whether it is innate, or intuitive, or a deduc- 
tion of reason, or a revelation in the first in- 
stance and thereafter transmitted to all others 
— on this point, concerning which there has 
been so much speculation among philosophers, 
nothing is said. While the first inspired writ- 
er assumes a knowledge of God on the part of 
his readers, neither he nor later writers con- 
sider that knowledge complete and perfect; 
for a large part of their purpose in writing, as 
is plainly manifest, is to reveal facts and truths 
concerning the nature, attributes, and activi- 
ties of the Divine Being. To discover and 
state what the Bible has revealed concerning 
God is the work before us in this chapter. 

The Divine Being is revealed in the Bible in 

(23) 



24 THK DOCTRINES OV METHODISM. 

part by the names given to him. The Hebrew 
originals of "God" and "Jehovah " represent, 
respectively, the ideas of "power" and ' ' essen- 
tial being." All religions had their "gods," 
but only the children of Israel had their "Je- 
hovah." This name, by which he revealed 
himself to the chosen people (Ex. vi. 3), was 
derived from the verb "to be," and probably 
means, "He who not only is, but who causes 
things to be"— that is, the Creator. When 
God called himself (Ex. iii. 14) the "I Am," 
"I Am that I Am," it was but another form 
of ' 'Jehovah. " This was, however, among the 
Jews — at least among the later Jews — the ' ' in- 
effable Name." For some cause or other, 
which is not now known, they never uttered 
it or took it "between their sin-polluted lips." 
In reading they always substituted for it the 
word Adhonaif which is translated "Lord." 
This latter title is in itself a most suitable 
name for God, in that the Divine Being is not 
only a God of power and One who is and causes 
things to he, but he is also the Sovereign and 
"Lord " of a kingdom, a God whose dominion 
is over all free and rational beings. 

The most significant and appropriate of all 
divine names it was reserved for Christ to ap- 
ply to God, and that is the name of "Father." 



THK DOCTBINB OF GOD. 25 

It had been used in a figurative sense before, 
but Christ revealed it as his real name, the 
name which, more than any other and all oth- 
ers, represented his real character and his true 
relationship to man. In revealing God to us 
as a Father, Christ made him a lovable Being. 
Hitherto he had been feared and worshiped 
with awe, and obeyed from a stern sense of 
duty; but Christ made God such a One as 
could be loved. Christ transformed duty to 
God into a willing service, a labor of love to 
"our Father." The "Fatherhood of God," 
then, may be said to represent the crowning 
revelation of the Bible so far as it concerns 
the Divine Being. 

The three truths concerning the God of the 
Bible, which from the beginning of Old Tes- 
tament history were most conspicuously re- 
vealed and were emphatically and repeatedly 
reuttered, are his unity ^ his spirituality, and 
his personality. "Hear, O Israel; the Lord 
our God is one Lord," is, so to speak, the first 
declaration of Old Testament theology, the 
first article in the faith of the chosen people. 
The unity of God means that there is and can 
be but one God. To affirm the existence of 
many gods is virtually to deny the existence 
of any real and true God. Many gods means 



26 THE DOCTKINES OF METHODISM. 

uo God. The Jews were surrounded by peo- 
ples who were polytheists — that is, worshiped 
many gods. But this declaration of the one- 
ness of God does not stand alone in the Bible; 
it is immediately followed by other words that 
belong to the very same sentence: "and thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." 
This implies that faith in the unity of God is 
an antecedent condition to loving God. Poly- 
theists fear their gods, but never love them. 
Only those who believe in one God are capa- 
ble of exercising that highest of all creaturely 
acts of worship — love. 

But peoples who have not had the benefits of 
divine revelations have not only multiplied their 
gods; they have also materialized them. Their 
deities have been generally gods of wood and 
stone, the works of their own hands, and they 
that made them were like unto them. Their 
gods, instead of being their creators, were 
their creatures. The many forms of idolatry 
that have characterized and degi-aded the hea- 
then nations of the earth have been a result 
of the materializing of Deity. But "God is 
a Spirit: and they that worship him must 
worship him in spirit and in truth." Spirit 
has none of the properties of matter, but has 



THK DOCTKINE OF GOD. Jit 

consciousness, intelligence, moral nature, free- 
dom, and similar attributes, none of which be- 
long to matter. Man is both body and spirit, 
but that which he recognizes as his real and 
true self is his spirit. There could be no finite 
spirits if there were not an Infinite Spirit, 
and there could be no such thing as spiritual 
religion if God were not a Spirit. 

But there are those who believe in the 
unity and spirituality of Deity, who yet do 
not believe that God is a person. They affirm 
that everything is God, that God is '"''the alV 
of existence. Pantheists affirm that every- 
thing is, in its ultimate analysis, out one 
thing, and that thing is ' ' God. " Even matter 
itself is but the "visible form" of Deity. 
But Deity is not a person, not a somebody, 
but a somewhat, an infinite "It" — that eternal, 
all-pervasive, indestructible something out of 
which everything visible comes and to which 
everything visible returns. But the Chris- 
tian Scriptures affirm that God is a Person, 
separate and distinct from everything else in 
the universe. God is He, not It. All things 
in the universe were made by God out of noth- 
ing, and owe their existence to his will and 
his creative power. If God were not a per- 
son, there could be no such thing as personal 



28 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

religion, nor could there be any true worship, 
or any love to God, or any sense of moral re- 
sponsibility. We thus see that if there is any 
real and true God at all, these three things 
must be predicable of him: unity, spiritual- 
ity, personality. Of the God of the Bible, 
and of him alone, can all these things be af- 
firmed. 

But God is not only "Father;" he is also 
"Son." The Father and Son are both alike 
divine. God is not only our Father; he is, in 
a imique and peculiar sense, the Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is revealed in 
the New Testament as the eternal Son of 
God. He speaks of the glory that he had 
with the Father before the world began. He 
claims and receives honor and worship such 
as can be properly given to none but God. 
A third person, called the Holy Spirit, who is 
represented as "proceeding" from the Father 
and as "sent" by the Son, is also represented 
as possessed of divine attributes and is accorded 
divine worship. In a certain sense the Fa- 
ther comes first, the Son second, and the 
Holy Spirit third; but these three persons 
are represented as alike eternal and equally 
divine. And yet in immediate connection 
with the recognition of the divine character 



THE DOCTRINE OF GOD. 



29 



of these three different Persons, our Lord 
and the apostles repeat and emphasize what is 
so often asserted in the Old Testament— that 
there is but one God. The only mode of 
reconciling these apparently discordant state- 
ments is to say that God is three in one 
sense, and one in another sense. These dif- 
ferent Persons share one common divine na- 
ture. The whole of Deity is in each divine 
Person. These truths find expression in the 
theological term "Trinity" or the "Triunity 
of the Godhead." 

It is common to speak of Tjod as possessed 
of certain "attributes." The attributes of a 
thing are those qualities or properties which 
inhere in the thing, and which, being predi- 
cated of it, serve to define it by distinguishing 
it from all other things, whether similar or 
dissimilar to it. A thing is never properly 
defined until certain attributes are predicated 
of it which do not, at least in their entirety, 
belong to anything else. Among the leading 
attributes which serve to define God may be 
mentioned these: freedom, immutability, eter- 
nity, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, 
goodness, holiness, and love. 

By freedom we mean that attribute that be- 
longs to a self-conscious, rational, and moral 



30 THE DOCTBINE8 OF METHODISM. 

being", by virtue of which his will possesses 
self -determining power, and is necessitated to 
put forth its volitions by nothing outside of 
itself, the real determining causei of his voli- 
tions and acts being in himself. God's will is 
itself the uncaused cause of all things. Of 
him alone can it be said that "He doeth ac- 
cording to his will in the armies of heaven 
and among the inhabitants of earth." But 
the infinite Divine Will created finite human 
wills, who possess within certain narrow lim- 
its the same kind of free and self -determining 
power that the Divine Will possesses without 
limits. God is the only one "who worketh 
all things after the counsel of his own will." 
(Eph. i.'ll.) 

By the divine irmnutahility we mean that 
God changes not. It is not the same as immo- 
bility, but is the attribute of an ever-active 
Being whose principles of action are absolute- 
ly uniform in their conformity to his per- 
fect moral character, "I am Jehovah, I 
change not." (Mai. iii.6. ) "Thou, Lord, in 
the beginning hast laid the foundation of 
the earth; and the heavens are the work of 
thine hands: they shall perish; but thou re- 
mainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a 
garment ; and as a vesture shalt thou fold 



THE DOCTBINB OF GOD. 



31 



them up, and they shall be changed: but 
thou art the same, and thy years shall not 
fail." (Heb. i. 10. ) Of Christ it is said that 
he is " the same yesterday, and to-day, and 
forever." 

The eternity of God defines his relation to 
time, and means that he is without beginning 
of days or end of years. There never was a^ 
time when he was not; there never can come a 
time when he will not be. "Before the 
mountains were brought forth, or ever thou 
hadst formed the earth and the world, even 
from everlasting to everlasting, thou art 
God." (Ps. xc. 2.) He is described by 
Isaiah as the "lofty One that inhabiteth 
eternity." There is a sense in which it may 
be truly said that all time is an "eternal 
now" with God. All the events of the past 
and of the f utui-e enter as fully into his con- 
scious knowledge at every moment of time as 
do the events of the present. But this phase 
of his eternity involves omniscience. 

The omnipresence of God is a term that ex- 
presses his relation to infinite space. There 
is no object or point in infinite space at which 
he is not present at every moment. ' ' Behold, 
the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot 
contain thee," said Solomon truly. The ques- 



32 THB DOCTEINE8 OF METHODISM. 

tions of the psalmist, "Whither shall I go 
from thy Spirit?" and "whither shall I flee 
from thy presence ? " suggest their own answer. 
" The eyes of the Lord are in every place, be- 
holding the evil and the good." 

By the omnipotence of God is meant that 
he has power to do whatever he wills to do. 
Man's power is limited; God's power is un- 
limited. Man has to accomplish much of 
what he does by working upon and through 
other things; God's power is exercised im- 
mediately. He wills, and it is done; bespeaks 
the word of power, and it is executed. The 
Scriptures tell us that "with God all things 
are possible." But omnipotence cannot ac- 
complish impossibilities. Whatever is a con- 
tradiction in thought is an impossibility in 
execution, even to divine omnipotence. Thus 
God cannot, by an exercise of his omnipo- 
tence, com.^^ free moral h^rngs to be moral- 
ly good and holy. If he should do this, he 
would destroy their free moral agency, which 
is the very essence of their nature. 

Omniscience is that attribute by virtue of 
which God knows all things, past, present, 
and future. " His understanding is infinite. " 
(Ps. cxlvii. 5.) "All things are naked and 
opened unto the eyes of him with whom we 



THE DOCTRINE OF GOD. 



33 



have to do." (Heb. iv. 13.) "Known unto 
God are all his works from the beginning of 
the world. " (Acts x v. 18. ) That phase of the 
divine omniscience which is theologically the 
most important is the foreknowledge of God; 
and this because of its relation to the doctrine 
of election and predestination. Between divine 
foreknowledge and human free agency there 
is no contradiction, any more than there is be- 
tween the present knowledge of God and man's 
freedom in his acts. But if God, before men 
were even created, chose some to salvation 
and others to damnation, and then predesti- 
nated them to their foreordained lot, and is 
now working out his eternal decrees— in other 
words, if it is God's will in eternity, and not 
man's will in time, that determines who is to 
be saved and who lost— then it is impossible 
that men should be free and responsible for 
their character and destiny. The divine wis- 
dom is the omniscience of God as manifested 
in the accomplishment of the highest and best 
ends by the use of ihe simplest and most 
effective means. The grandest display of the 
wisdom of God is found in the divine method 
adopted for saving a lost world— by the incar- 
nation, death, and resurrection of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 
3 



34 THB DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

By the goodness of God is meant that attri- 
bute of the divine Nature which seeks the well- 
being and happiness of all creatures. "The 
earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." 
(Ps. xxxiii. 5. ) But the highest well-being and 
happiness of rational beings is moral and spir- 
itual good. To secure this higher good in 
man it is often necessary for him to suffer 
physical evil. Physical evil is one of the 
most effective agencies employed by God to 
correct moral evil. It is no reflection, there- 
fore, on the goodness of God to find that he 
has made a world in which there is much that 
mars the mere physical comfort of his crea- 
tures. He makes "all things to work togeth- 
er for good to them that love him." 

By the holiness of God we mean the ab- 
sence from the divine character of every- 
thing of the nature of creaturely evil, and the 
presence of everything that is the opposite of 
evil. But holiness is not simply a passive 
personal attribute; it is also active in that 
God is doing everything he can, in keep- 
ing with the laws of his kingdom and the 
free agency of man, to save his moral crea- 
tures from sin and secure them in holiness. 
Justice is but a form of holiness. It is con- 
cerned with man's relations to law and gov- 



THE DOCTRINE OF GOD. 35 

ernment, to sin and its punishment, to vir- 
tue and its reward. * ' Who is like unto thee, 
O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, 
glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing 
wonders?" (Ex. xv. 11.) 

But love is that attribute that overshadows 
and swallows up all others. It is represented 
as belonging in some unique sense to the very 
essence of God. ' ' God is love. " ( 1 John iv. 
8. ) " Herein is love, not that we loved God, but 
that he loved us. " ( 1 John iv. 10. ) " God so 
loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth on him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 
iii. 16. ) Grace is that form of the divine love 
which contemplates man with an emphasis 
upon his impotence and ill desert through sin, 
and provides for his salvation through Christ, 
The grandest expression of the love of God is 
found in the gift of Christ. 

We have enumerated here the more impor- 
tant divine attributes. As a matter of fact, 
God possesses every attribute that is conceiv- 
able as belonging to a moral and holy being, 
and he possesses each attribute without limit. 
From these facts it follows that God is an in- 
finite and perfect Being, worthy of the adora- 
tion, worship, and love of all created beings. 



IV. 

The Bible Doctkine or Max. 

If God is the chief object of divine revela- 
tion, man, we may say, is the principal subject 
of revelation. The inspired Scriptures are ad- 
dressed to man and are largely about himself, 
his nature and needs, his duty and destiny. 
The Scriptures give us four views of man: 
first, primitive man, in his unfallen state, as 
God made him, innocent and pm-e; second, 
man in his fallen state, as he made himself, 
sinful and depraved; third, man in a state of 
gracious ability, as Christ made him by his 
redeeming work; fourth, man in a state of re- 
generation or restoration to the divine image, 
as the Holy Spirit is ready to make all those 
who come unto God by Christ. In this chap- 
ter we shall consider man as originally created 
and as fallen. 

The only rational account we have of man's 
origin, that in Genesis, makes him to be the 
last and highest product of creation; and this 
is equally true whether the inspired narrative 
be explained literally or as truth taught in 
allegorical and symbolical form. This high- 
est of God's earthly creatures is possessed of 
(36) 



THE BIBIiB DOCTRINE OF MAN. 3< 

two natures, physical and spiritual, in one per- 
sonality. Man is allied to lower animals in 
his physical nature, but to the angelic world in 
his spirit. His material or physical nature is 
sometimes called flesh and sometimes body. 
His immaterial nature is designated some- 
times as soul and sometimes as spirit. It is 
in man^ immaterial or spiritual nature that 
we find the real seat of manhood. It is this 
spiritual nature that gives him his conscious- 
ness and reason, his intellect, sensibilities, and 
will, his conscience, his capacity for sin on 
the one hand and for holiness on the other, 
his capacity for the worship and service of 
God, his likeness to God, his divine sonship 
and immortality. Man is represented in the 
Bible as having been created in the image of 
God, endowed with reason and moral free 
agency, placed under moral laws, obedience to 
which results in holy character, and disobe- 
dience to which is sin and results in' sinful char- 
acter. His life here is probationary in that his 
character as formed here determines his desti- 
ny in the world to come. 

The supreme purpose of God in creating 
man seems to have been to make possible the 
highest ideal of creatarely holiness and happi- 
ness. There was need in the universe of a 



38 THE DOCTBINE8 OF METHODISM. 

creature whose highest happiness would be se- 
cured by his highest holiness; and this holiness, 
in turn, would secure the highest glory of the 
Creator. The holiness ojf a free being is a 
higher type of holiness than any kind of holi- 
ness that might characterize a being who 
should be necessitated by the will of the Cre- 
ator to be and do what he is and does, and the 
former holiness would glorify the Creator far 
more than the latter possibly could. The lat- 
ter could glorify God only as a house does its 
builder, while the former would glorify him as 
a dutiful and obedient son does his father, a 
righteous citizen his ruler, or a brave soldier 
his leader. But ip order for God to make holi- 
ness possible it was absolutely necessary for 
him to make sin possible. But while God 
made sin possible by creating free moral agents 
and placing them in a state of probation, he 
did not make sin actual. It was man, not 
God, who made sin actual. God, we may say, 
would not have made sin possible if he could 
have secured the highest ideal of holiness in 
man without such possibility. But there are 
some things which even omnipotence cannot 
do; it cannot do an impossible thing, and the 
creation o/nd probation of a free being who 
cannot sin are an impossibility. But the high- 



THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF MAN. 39 

est ideal of the Creator as embodied in man, 
the moral free agent, would have been realized 
if sin had forever remained simply a possibil- 
ity and had never become an actuality. That 
ideal has been realized in one, and only one— 
the Son of Man. But the fii-st Adam was as 
free from sin when he came from the hands of 
his Creator as was the infant born of the Vir- 
gin. The first man was under no necessity to 
sin. He was free. 

We may say, then, that while man's first es- 
tate was thus one of innocence and purity, two 
alternatives were before him as a moral free 
agent: holiness and sin. But the life and pro- 
bation of the first pair had not been of long 
duration before, by an abuse of their moral 
freedom, innocence and purity gave place to 
sin and guilt. The history of mankind, from 
that time on, is the history of a fallen and 
sinful race. The "fall of man" is a phrase 
which is commonly used in theology to de- 
scribe man's loss of original righteousness and 
his coming under the dominion of sin. The 
fall of Adam is regarded as the fall of the 
race, because of the fact that he was not only 
the natural head, but in such a sense the fed- 
eral head and moral representative of the race, 
which was serainally in him, that certain con- 



40 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

sequences of his sin were entailed upon tiiem. 
But Adam's relation to the universal sinful- 
ness of the race is a matter of secondary im- 
portance as compared to the undeniable fact 
that all men are by nature sinful and stand in 
need of a Saviour. 

The Bible uses various expressions to define 
the nature of sin. The essence of sin is self- 
ishness, setting one's own will in opposition 
to the will of the Creator, or mllful trans- 
gression of the law of God. Sin is "enmity 
against God." The sinner is one who has de- 
throned God, the rightful ruler, from his seat 
of authority in the heart, and has set himself 
up as ruler instead, and the result is a state of 
internal moral anarchy. The fact that the 
will of the creature so often manifests its 
disobedience to the commands of God, by 
yielding to the solicitations of the fleshly or 
animal nature, has given rise to calling sin 
"the flesh" or "the carnal mind." The seat 
of sin, however, is in the inner spiritual man, 
in the heart, and not in the flesh. Outward 
acts are sins only in so far as they are expres- 
sions of inner volitions, dispositions, and 
states. "Out of the heart proceed evil 
thoughts." If the tree is evil, its fruit must 
be evil. The look of the eye that comes 



THE BIBLS DOCTRINE OF MAN. 41 

from lust in the heart does not need the out- 
ward act to make it sin. The decision to 
commit murder, or even the hate of the heart 
that may lead to murderous volition, makes 
one a mui'derer in the eyes of God. There 
are different degrees of guilt. There may be 
sins of culpable thoughtlessness and igno- 
rance, sins of surprise in which one is over- 
taken in a fault, sins of deliberate choice and 
malice aforethought, sins that involve the 
breaking of a solemn covenant, and sins 
against the Holy Ghost, in which the sinner, 
by persistence in willful wrongdoing, passes 
beyond the possibility of being renewed 
again unto repentance, and hence beyond the 
possibility of pardon. (Matt. v. 28, xv. 19; 
1 John iii. 4; Rom. viii. 6-8; Mark iii. 29; 
Heb. vi. 6.) 

But sin is not only a voluntary transgression 
of the law of God; it is also, according to the 
definition of St. John, any want of conform- 
ity to that law. Sins often repeated beget a 
habit of sin. Sinful habits long continued in 
beget sinful character. Sin in the first in- 
stance always involves a consciously evil act, 
but the oftener a man sins the more does sin 
become to him the law of life, and the less 
does the element of consciousness enter into 



42 THE DOCTRINES OP METHODIgjVf. 

his sinning. Whenever a man thus, by long- 
continued violations of God's law, reaches the 
point where conscience ceases to rebuke him 
for his violation of God's law — where he 
ceases to feel painfully the guilt of his sins, 
where sin has become the law of life to him, 
has become, as it were, the natm-al thing to do — 
then he has become possessed of a sinful char- 
acter. This is sometimes called acquired de- 
pravity, as distinct from voluntary sin, or the 
sin of nature, as distinct from willful sin. 
Sinful character is the result of sinful volitions 
and acts, but when character is formed it be- 
comes a predisposing cause of the volitions 
and acts that result — that is, a man does not 
come from the hand of his Creator a bad man; 
he becomes a bad man only as a result of his 
own evil volitions and evil deeds; but when 
he has thus become a bad man, then the re- 
verse is true, and we may say of such a one 
that he does evil because he is a bad man. 
We thus see what willful sin is, and also its 
relation to moral depravity and to sinful char- 
acter. 

But there is such a thing as inherited de- 
pravity as well as acquired depravity. It is 
commonly called original sin, and may be de- 
lined as that "corruption of the nature of 



THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF MA>*. 43 

every man, that naturally is engendered of the 
offspring of Adam, whereby he is very far 
gone from original righteousness, and of his 
own natm-e inclined to evil, and that con- 
tinually." That all men do from their very 
infancy manifest a tendency to do wi-ong 
rather than to do right; that children left to 
themselves as they grow up will do that which 
is morally wrong rather than that which is 
right— is one of the most undeniable of all 
moral facts. If the Church creeds and the 
biblical writers were silent about it, we still 
could not fail to recognize this universal sin- 
fulness of man. As this bias to sin charac- 
terizes man from his very infancy, it may 
reasonably be inferred that it is inherited. 
Hence it is sometimes called "birth sin." 
Many think it unfortunate that it ever should 
have been called "sin" or "guilt;" think 
that these terms should have been reserved 
for willful sin. Methodists do not believe 
that the guilt of Adam's sin was imputed or 
charged to his descendants in any sense ex- 
cept that certain consequences of his wrong- 
doing (as is more or less true of every par- 
ent's wrongdoing) were entailed upon his 
offspring. Nor does the inheriting of a bias 
toward sin involve any culpability or guilt 



44 THE DOCTBINES OF METHODISM. 

whatever until a child arrives at an age of 
moral accountability and can bring the sin- 
w^ard tendencies of his nature under the do- 
minion of grace, but refuses to do so. Then 
he may justly be held responsible and punish- 
able for it and its consequences. 

Another phrase that is used in this connec- 
tion, and is much misunderstood, is "total 
depravity." It is a term that was coined by 
theologians who took a view of original sin 
and its effect that Methodists do not indorse. 
This term and also that of "original guilt" 
are quite consistent with the cardinal doc- 
trines of Augustinian theology, but whenev- 
er they appear in Methodist theology (as they 
sometimes do) they call for definition and 
explanation. There is, as we have seen, 
both inherited and acquired depravity. We 
believe that a man may, by persistent, willful 
sin, acquire a character that is totally depraved. 
But the theological phrase "total depravity" 
refers to man's state as affected by the fall of 
Adam and by inherited depravity, and car- 
ries along with it the idea that all men in 
their natural state are totally depraved and 
devoid of all good. To say that sin has af- 
fected every part of man's nature (body, mind, 
heart, soul, spirit, etc.), that it is total, ex- 



THK BIBLE DOCTRINE OP MAN. 45 

tensively considered, is undoubtedly true; 
l)ut to say that all men until regenerated are 
totally depraved in their moral nature (a 
mussa perditionis, as Augustine said), totally 
devoid of all good, as bad as they can possi- 
bly be — tJiat is a statement not in accord with 
Methodist theolog}'. Methodists believe that 
the atonement of Christ embraced all men in 
its saving benefits; and that, while men are not 
actually saved by it until they accept Christ 
by faith, yet many of its general benefits have 
extended to all men from the very beginning 
of the history of the race, and precede per- 
sonal salvation. There is some good in all 
men, even in uuregenerate human nature, 
which is therefore not to be regarded as to- 
tally depraved. But, while this is true, Meth- 
odist theology affirms that whatever of good 
is found in unregenerate men is an effect of the 
atonement, and therefore due not to nature 
but to grace. If the fallen race had been 
suffered to exist and propagate itself unre- 
deemed, it Avould have become totally de- 
praved, but God did not suffer it to go unre- 
deemed. All men, as a result of the atone- 
ment, have gracious ability to meet the con- 
ditions of salvation. 



V. 

Chbist the Redeemer. 

In the preceding chapter we studied man as 
originally created in innocence and moral free 
agency, and also as fallen, in a state of sin and 
guilt. We desire now to study man as re- 
deemed by Christ. Two alternatives, we may 
say, were before the divine mind when man 
fell into sin: either bring the race to an end 
with the first fallen pair, or else, if they are 
to continue to propagate themselves as fallen 
and depraved beings, to place them in a salva- 
ble state and provide counter forces, as it were, 
that will restore the moral equilibrium of the 
human will. God, in his infinite wisdom, 
adopted the latter method. This is what 
man's redemption by the atonement of Christ 
did for him. It did not place him back where 
he was before the fall; but it did accomplish 
this result, that henceforth he was regarded and 
dealt with as a redeemed fallen being. When 
man falls, then, God does not abandon him to 
sin, but in mercy provides for his salvation. 
This he does by the promise of a Saviour, in 
the person of his own Son, who in the full- 
ness of time will become incarnate, and, by 
(4S) 



CHEIST THK KEDEEMER. 47 

his life, death, and resurrection, will atone 
for the sins of all mankind and bring such 
moral forces to work on man as will help to 
counteract the downward tendencies of his 
fallen nature. The virtue of this divinely 
provided atonement avails from the begin- 
ning, and does not wait upon the actual ad- 
vent and incarnation of the Son of God before 
it becomes efficacious for man's salvation. A 
sacrificial system of worship was employed 
that was made symbolic and typical of the 
great divine-human Sacrifice that was to come, 
and it became, in connection with the dis- 
pensation of the law, not only a temporary 
channel of faith and grace to Old Testament 
penitents and believers, but a "schoolmaster" 
to prepare the world for, and lead it to, Christ 
the Redeemer. We thus see bowman, created 
in moral innocence, became man fallen in mor- 
al guilt, and how man fallen became man re- 
deemed. The study of man, then, is the study 
of a fallen but redeemed being. 

Methodists, therefore, believe in "original 
gi-ace" quite as much as they do in '•'original 
sin." When God decided to allow a fallen 
and sinful race to propagate itself, he decided 
in immediate and inseparable connection there- 
with to redeem that race. Hence the history 



48 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

of fallen man is the history of redeemed man. 
When the first probation ended with Adam's 
fall, a new and gracious probation began with 
a race, fallen, it is true, but also redeemed. 
"Original sin is the sin of Adam's descendants 
as under a covenant of grace. What it would 
otherwise have been, we can never know." 
Man's gracious abilities through Christ are 
quite equal to his moral disabilities thrpugh 
the fall. The fallen state, with original sin 
and the accompanying benefits of Christ's 
atoning work, doubtless furnishes as favorable 
conditions for human probation and the devel- 
opment of creaturely holiness as did the un- 
fallen state without the divine-human Redeem- 
mer. So much for the effects of the fall on 
man. And as to its bearing on God, we may 
say, in the light of the New Testament Scrip- 
tures, that the wisdom, goodness, holiness, 
and love of God are manifested far more in the 
redemption of fallen man than they could have 
been by the mere creation of one or many un- 
fallen beings like Adam and Eve. 

" 'Twas great to speak a world from uaught. 
'Twas greater to redeem." 

Christ the Redeemer holds the foremost 
plaoe in the theology of Methodism and all 



CHRIST THE REDEEMER. 



49 



Other evangelical Churches. In one of our 
articles it is said of Christ that "two whole 
and perfect natures, that is to say, the God- 
head and manhood, were joined together in 
one person, never to be divided, whereof is 
one Christ, very God and very man, who truly 
suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to 
reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacri- 
fice, not only for original guilt, but also for 
actual sins of men." His sacrificial death is 
further defined as "the perfect redemption, 
propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins 
of the whole world, both original and actual; 
and there is none other satisfaction for sin 
but that alone." It is further said that the 
Heavenly Father, "of his tender mercy, did 
give his only-begotten 'Son Jesus Christ to 
suffer death upon the cross for our redemp- 
tion; who made there, by his oblation of him- 
self once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient 
sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins 
of the whole world." 

Methodists believe in an unlimited atone- 
ment, but they do not believe in "universal- 
ism" — that is, that all sinners are actually 
saved by the death of Christ. Christ has put 
all men in a salvable state, and has endowed 
all men with gracious ability to embrace the 
4 



50 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

benefits of his atoning provisions; but each 
man, as a moral free agent, must decide for 
himself whether or not he will be freely saved 
by grace. Christ has died for all men alike, 
for those who do not accept him just as much 
as for those who do accept him. Some perish 
for whom Christ died. The reason why one 
man is saved and another lost is not because 
Christ died for the one in any sense that he 
did not die for the other; but wholly because 
the one, in the exercise of his liberty, accepted 
the atonement and complied with its condi- 
tions, and the other did not. The limitation 
of the atonement, then, is the work of man, 
not of God. While Christ is the Saviour of 
all men, he is in a special sense the Saviour of 
those who accept him. He has paid in full, so 
to speak, the redemption price of all who are 
the slaves of sin; but no one enters upon his 
purchased freedom until he complies with the 
conditions of his Christian citizenship and ful- 
fills those moral conditions which are the guar- 
antee that his liberty will not be turned into 
license; for Christian liberty does not mean 
license to continue in sin. 

The atonement was necessary not only to 
satisfy the holiness and love of the divine 
nature, but also to satisfy the immutable 



CHRIST THK REDEEMER. 51 

laws of the divine government. If there is a 
moral Governor of the universe, there must 
be a moral government; and if a moral gov- 
ernment, there must be moral laws; and if 
moral laws are to have any force, their viola- 
tion must be punished; and if punishment is 
to accomplish its purpose, it must be adequate 
to hold in existence these four things that 
logically precede it and depend upon it. The 
governmental problem is how to save man 
the sinner. The sinner must either be pun- 
ished or some substitute must be found to 
take his place in bearing the penalty, or, we 
may say, he must either be punished or some 
substitute for punishment must be found that 
will be compatible with the laws of moral 
government. If substitution be allowed, the 
following conditions must be met: (1) It must 
be voluntary; forced substitution would be un- 
just to the substitute. ( 2 ) The substitute must 
be himself innocent, and therefore free fi'om 
obligation to suffer for himself. (3) If the 
substitute is to count for more than one indi- 
vidual, if he is to count as a ' 'ransom for many," 
he must possess an intrinsic superiority either 
in nature or in official rank that will give to 
his person a governmental value equal to the 
number for whom he is substituted. (4) 



52 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

Some condition must be imposed upon the 
sinner that will result in the transformation 
of his moral character; otherwise the crim- 
inal would be turned loose upon society, 
while the innocent would be imprisoned or 
put to death — and no government could stand 
this. (5) The principle of substitution must 
be applied in such a way as to deter other 
men from sin, and not, as would be the dan- 
ger, so as to encourage them to go on in sin 
because they would count on substitution. 
If human governments could meet all these 
conditions, they could afford to enlarge great- 
ly upon the principle of substitution now 
used to a very limited extent. But as a mat- 
ter of fact they can meet none of these re- 
quirements. But the divine government meets 
them all. Christ is a voluntary substitute 
who is entirely innocent and holy himself, is 
possessed of a divine nature which gives infi- 
nite value to his person; and repentance and 
faith are such conditions precedent to the sin- 
ner's release from liability to punifehment 
that on their fulfillment God not only pardons 
all past transgressions but regenerates the 
sinner, breaking the dominion of sin in his 
nature and making him a new creature in 
Christ Jesus. This is what is known as the 



CHBIST THE RBDEEMBK. 53 

Christian doctrine of substitution or vicarious 
sacrifice. 

The following truths are here emphasized: 
(1) It is the divine -human Christ who 
atoned for man's sins; it was the divinity of 
Christ that gave infinite value to the suffer- 
ings of his human nature. (2) It is said in 
the first quotation above that Christ suffered 
and died "to reconcile his Father to us," but 
from the language used in the last quotation 
we may say that the gift by the Heavenly 
Father of his only Son is an expression of 
his love and an evidence that he is himself 
already reconciled, and our chief work is to 
get sinners reconciled to God. (3) His atone- 
ment is meant to meet all kinds of sin and the 
sins of all men; it is absolutely unlimited in 
its power to save all sinners and to save them 
from all sin. (4) The absolute impossibility 
of salvation in any other way than through 
the atonement of Christ. 

While the divine nature and all the attri- 
butes of the Triune God are exercised in re- 
demption, there are three attributes that are 
especially conspicuous. The necessity for 
atonement is found in the holiness of God, 
which must forever keep itself aloof from all 
creaturely evil. Either the sinner must be 



54 THE DOCTKINES OF METHODISM. 

separated froni God or else separated from 
his sin. The atonement makes the latter pos- 
sible. The originating cause of the atone- 
ment is found in the love of God. "God so 
loved the world that he gave his only-begot- 
ten Sou." "Herein is love, not that we 
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent 
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 
Self-sacrificing love is the strongest motive 
power in the universe. The best expression 
of this love which the world affords is in 
the case of a .father giving up his only son 
and sending him forth to suffer and it 
may be to die for others. It would cost a 
father much less of sacrifice to go himself 
than to send his son on such a mission. The 
inspired writers represent the gift of Christ 
as the greatest expression and proof of the 
love of the Heavenly Father that it is possible 
for an infinite God to give. The greatest ex- 
pression of self-sacrificing love that a son can 
give is to leave the comforts of his home and 
go himself on a mission of mercy in which, 
to save others, he will need to suffer and die. 
The coming of Christ into our world to save 
sinners by his death was no less his own vol- 
untary act than it was an expression of God's 
love. Thus the atonement is at once the 



CHEIST THE REDEEMER. . 55 

highest expression of love on the part of both 
God the Father and God the Son. But not 
only is the atonement the best possible ex- 
pression of both the holiness and the love of 
God, it is the wisest plan that the omniscient 
mind of God could devise for saving lost men, 
guarding their free agency, and at the same 
time bringing to bear upon the free will the 
strongest possible motives to righteousness. 
It was the only possible method whereby God 
could be just and yet the justifier of the un- 
godly. 

No doctrine of Christianity is more thor- 
oughly supported by the uniform and abound- 
ing teachings of the New Testament writers 
than the doctrine of an unlimited atonement. 
"He was wounded for our transgi'essions, he 
was bruised for our iniquities: the chastise- 
ment of our peace was upon him; and with his 
stripes we are healed. . . , And the Lord hath 
laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa. 
liii. 5, 6.) "The Son of man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 
xix. 10.) "God our Saviour; who will have 
all men to be saved, and to come imto the 
knowledge of the truth. For there is one 
God, and one Mediator between God and 
men, the man Christ eTesus, who gave himself 



56 • THE DOCTRINES OV METHODISM. 

a ransom for all, . . . who is the Sav- 
iour of all men, especially of those that be- 
lieve. " ( 1 Tim. ii. 3-6, iv. 10. ) " That he by 
the grace of God should taste death for every 
man. . . . He is able also to save them to 
the uttermost that come unto God by him." 
(Heb. ii. 9, vii. 25.) "Who his own self 
bare our sins in his own body on the tree. 
. . . Christ also hath once suffered for 
sins, the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to God." (1 Pet. ii. 24, iii. 18.) 
"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and 
not for ours only, but also for the sins of the 
whole world." (1 John ii. 2.) These pas- 
sages, rightly interpreted, justify every state- 
ment that we have made above concerning 
the doctrine of human redemption. Many 
of these truths were very happily expressed 
by John Wesley in these familiar lines: 

Lord, I believe thy precious blood, 
Which, at the mercy seat of God, 
Forever doth for sinners plead. 
For me, e'en for my soul, was shed. 

Lord, I believe were sinners more 
Than sands upon the ocean shore, 
Thou hast for all a ransom paid. 
For all a full atonement made. 



VI. 

The Doctrines PEKTAiNiNa to 

Persoi^al Salvatiok. 
If we say that " God the Father plans, God 
the Son executes, and God the Holy Spirit ap- 
plies," we have a formula which states with 
approximate accuracy the specific work of 
each of the -three persons of the Trinity in the 
gi-eat work of human redemption. The exe- 
cution of the divine plan of redemption was 
committed to the Son, and as fulfilled it is 
called the atonement. The application of the 
atoning work of Christ to the actual salvation 
of men is the work of the Holy Spirit, whose 
gracious influences act upon and cooperate 
with the free will of man. It is but another 
method of stating the same great truth to say 
that the originating cause of man's salvation 
is the love, of God, the meritorious cause is 
the sacrifice of Christ, the efficient cause is 
the power of the Holy Spirit, and the deter- 
mining cause is the free will of the redeemed 
sinner. In this chapter we are especially con- 
cerned with the two elements last named. 

Personal salvation is a result of cooperation 

(57) 



58 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

between God and man, between the divine and 
tlie human will. Although salvation is of 
God's free grace, it is none the less of man's 
free choice. While man cannot save himself, 
neither can God save him, in keeping with the 
revealed principles of his moral government, 
unless man himself chooses to fulfill the con- 
ditions of salvation. As a mere matter of 
power, of course the omnipotent divine will 
can cause the finite human will to do any- 
thing, to put forth any volition whatsoever; 
but such a divinely necessitated human voli- 
tion could not be free, and in the matter of 
personal salvation man is entirely free to ful- 
fill or not to fulfill the conditions of salvation. 
The Bible I'epresents God as being without par- 
tiality and no respecter of persons. God our 
Saviour "will have all men to be saved and to 
come unto the knowledge of the truth," and is 
"not willing that any should perish, but that 
all' should come to repentance." Personal sal- 
vation and damnation, therefore, are not de- 
termined by election and nonelection in eter- 
nity, but by the free will of man. The con- 
dition of fallen man as affected by the atone- 
ment is one of gracious ability to fulfill all 
conditions necessary to salvation; but while 
his present moral ability is of gi-ace, that 



I'ERSOXAL SALVATION. 59 

grace itself is free and not arbitrary and irre- 
sistible. 

If the work of personal salvation b® ana- 
lyzed and separated into its various parts, it 
may be said to consist of the following ele- 
ments: (1) Conviction of sin, which is that 
work of the Holy Spirit upon the conscience 
of the sinner by which he is awakened and 
made to realize his sinful and lost condition; 
(2) repentance, which is such godly sorrow on 
account of sin as leads to the forsaking of all 
sin and the confession of sin; (3) faith, or that 
belief of the mind and trust of the heart by 
which the penitent sinner accepts Jesus Christ 
as a personal Saviour; (4) justification, which is 
something done for us, being that act of God 
by which he pardons all the past sins of the 
penitent believer; (5) regeneration, which is 
something done in us, being that act of God by 
which he breaks the dominion of the sin of na- 
ture and creates us anew, which transforma- 
tion is called the new birth and is followed 
by adoption into the family of God; (6) the 
witness of the Holy Spirit to the spirit of the 
regenerate believer, testifying to his pardon 
and adoption, and producing a di^^ne convic- 
tion of salvation; (7) sanctification, which as 
commonly defined refers to that work of the 



(50 THK DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

Holy Spirit, in cooperation with the regener- 
ate spirit, which separates the soul from all 
sin, carrying on the work begun in regenera- 
tion, and completing it in Christian perfection. 

The first six elements enumerated above 
constitute "conversion," as this term is popu- 
larly used. * There are three salvations spoken 
of in the Bible. "Repent of thy sins and be- 
lieve in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be 
saved;" this is the fii-st. "Work out your 
own salvation with fear and trembling;" this 
is the second, and it is a continuous, pro- 
gressive work. ' ' He that endureth to the end 
shall be saved;" this is the third, and refers 
to final salvation at the last day. A clear 
knowledge of all these doctrines may not be 
necessary to salvation, but there can be no in- 
telligent type of piety that is not based upon 
both an intellectual and an experimental knowl- 
edge of all that the Scriptures represent as 
necessay to salvation. 

Conviction of sin is a result of the Holy 
Spirit's application of the preached word and 

* If the term " sanctification " be used in its strictly 
Scriptural sense, it also is included in conversion. 
But the common theological use of that term refers 
it to a work of grace, either progressively or instau- 
taneonsiy wrought, subsequent to "conversion." 



PERSONAL SALVATION. 61 

the divine law to the heart and conscience of a 
sinner, and is often irresistibly produced; but 
while the sinner may be convicted against his 
will, and in spite of efforts to the contrary, yet 
he is not irresistibly converted. Under con- 
viction he is free either to resist the wooings 
of the Spirit or to follow the Spirit's leadings 
on to repentance and faith. A moral free 
agent is never more free than in that intense 
and critical moment when he is irresistibly 
awakened and brought to a knowledge of his 
true condition. It is the most critical and re- 
sponsible moment in all his life; for then it is 
that his eternal destiny is hanging in the bal- 
ance, and nothing but the will of the free agent 
can determine which way the scales of destiny 
shall be made to turn. Conviction of sin is 
one of the chief offices of the Holy Spirit, as 
Christ promised: "When he is come, he will 
reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of 
righteousness, and of judgment." (John xvi. 
8. ) And he began this work on the day of his 
coming at Pentecost: " Now when they heard 
this, they were pricked in their heart, and said 
unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men 
and brethren, what shall we do ? " (Acts ii. 37. ) 
Repentance and faith are man's work, the 
only office of the Holy Spirit here being to 



62 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

graciously aid man in fulfilling these human 
conditions of salvation. The necessity, na- 
ture, and benefits of repentance may be shown 
in these words of Scripture: "Except ye re- 
pent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 
xiii. 3.) "Let the wicked forsake his way, 
and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and 
let him return unto the Lord, and he will 
have mercy upon him; and to our God, for 
he will abundantly pardon." (Isa. Iv. 7.) Of 
faith it is said: "Without faith it is impossi- 
ble to please God: for he that cometh to God 
must believe that he is, and that he is a re- 
warder of them that diligently seek him." 
(Heb. xi. 6.) "Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts xvi. 
31.) This means to accept Christ as a per- 
sonal Saviour. Confession of sin and confes- 
sion of Christ prove that repentance and faith 
are true. Justification and regeneration, on 
the other hand, are entii»ely God's work; with 
them man has nothing to do, save that he per- 
forms the conditions on which the pardon and 
regeneration of his soul are suspended. Jus- 
tification is the pardon of sin, and is condi- 
tioned not on our good works but on our 
faith: "To him that worketh not, but belie v- 
eth on him that justifieth the imgodly, his 



PERSOXAT^ RAI-VATIO^'. 63 

faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. 
iv. 6.) To the penitent the promise is: "I 
will f or^ve their iniquity, and I will remember 
their sin no more." (Jer. xxxi. 34:.) But a 
deeper work than this is necessary: "Ex- 
cept a man be born again, he cannot see the 
kingdom of God." (John iii. 3. ) This is re- 
generation; it also is conditioned on faith: "As 
many as received him, to them gave he power 
to become the sons of God." (John i. 12.) 

In the Calvinistic system regeneration comes 
first; and faith, repentance, and justification 
follow. Faith is, according to Calvinistic 
theology, the first act of a regenerate soul. 
Regeneration, (which is confused with "ef- 
fectual calling") and irresistible grace, must 
needs come first because the fallen human 
race are regarded as totally depraved, as ab- 
solutely dead in sin, to exact conditions of 
whom would be like demanding acts of a phys- 
ically dead man as a condition of imparting 
life to him. If God had from -all eternity 
unconditionally elected certain ones to salva- 
tion, and foreordained the means and the time 
of their eflScacious call and conversion; if it 
were true that regeneration comes first, and 
faith and repentance follow, then would the 
preaching of the gospel to the unconverted 



64 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

and the call of sinners to repentance and sal- 
vation seem to be a useless work, and the 
present mode of preaching the gospel and 
pressing the claims of the Christian religion 
upon the consciences of sinners could not be 
justified. More faithful to Scripture is that 
theology which teaches that man, though fall- 
en, and in a sense morally dead, is yet recog- 
nized as a living and responsible moral agent, 
endowed graciously with ability to seek and 
obtain salvation through divinely appointed 
conditions (repentance of sin and faith in 
Christ), on the fulfillment of which God gra- 
ciously pardons all his past transgressions, 
and so transforms his sinful moral nature as 
to deliver him from the dominion of sin and 
make him a new creatm'e in Christ. It is of 
the greatest importance that we have true 
scriptural views concerning the doctrines of 
personal salvation. We should make no mis- 
take in answering the question of the awakened 
sinner: "What must I do to be saved?" 

It may be asked why personal salvation on 
God's part consists of both justification and 
regeneration. Why would not justification 
alone or regeneration alone suffice to make 
complete the salvation of a soul? The an- 
swer is not far to seek. It is because there 



PERSONAL SALVATION. 65 

are two kinds of sins — actual sin, or voluntary 
transgression of the law of God; and the sin 
of natm*e, which consists of both original sin 
and the reflex influence on moral character of 
repeated acts of sin, From both of these 
kinds of sin man needs to be saved. Justifi- 
cation, or pardon, concerns actual sin alone, 
and has nothing to do with the sin of nature; 
and so repentance also is of actual sins, and 
not of original sin. Regeneration, on the 
other hand, has to do exclusively with the sin 
of nature — original sin and the habitus of sin, 
or hereditary and acquired depravity. A 
tendency toward disease (consumption, for 
example) may be inherited, or it may be 
superinduced by acts of imprudence or by 
sickness, or it may be both inherited and 
superinduced; and if so, the two tendencies 
run together and become one. And so it is 
with fallen man: he inherits a bias toward 
sin; and this is strengthened by the effects of 
actual sin, both alike calling for that divine 
act which is designated as regeneration. If 
man were simply justified, and not at the same 
time regenerated, his past sins would be par- 
doned; but he would be left under the domin- 
ion of his sinful nature, and would necessarily 
continue to sin. Hence regeneration is rep- 
5 



66 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

resented as "breaking the dominion of sin," 
"cleansing the moral nature," "being born 
again," "created anew." Acts of sin may be 
compared to the black characters written upon 
a sheet of paper; the sin of nature, to discol- 
oring elements that enter into the very fiber 
of the paper itself. The blotting out of sins 
(Acts iii. 19) is the pardon of all actual trans- 
gressions, but another and different act is re- 
quired to cleanse and purify the sin-polluted 
nature of man. Justification and regenera- 
tion always take place at the same time. 

Conviction of sin is the witness of the Spirit 
to the sinner's true condition, and so the wit- 
ness of the Spirit to the regenerate believer 
may be called conviction of salvation. It is 
thus that the Holy Spirit both begins and 
crowns the work of personal salvation. The 
soul that undergoes all these experiences is a 
genuine and a happy convert, and nothing 
less than an experience of all these elements 
of personal salvation entitles one either to re- 
ceive from God, as a sacred seal to his salva- 
tion, the witness of adoption and the assm-- 
ance of sonship, or to be regarded by man 
as a new creature in Christ Jesus. "The 
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, 
that we are the children of God." (Rom. 



PBB80NAL SALVATION. 67 

viii. 16.) "He that belie veth on the Son of 
God hath the witness in himself." (1 John 
V. 10. ) But what the child of God is conscious 
of is not "the witness of the Spirit," but the 
fact of being saved. It is the office of the Holy 
Spirit to convince him of this fact. But this 
blessed assurance that belongs by right to 
every child of God should not be confused with 
a certain ebullition of joy that sometimes ac- 
companies certain ' ' happy conversions. " The 
latter is a thing of temperament ; some have 
it and some do not; moreover, it "comes and 
goes." But the true witness of the Spirit is 
not a thing of temperament, it does not " come 
and go ; " but is a birthright to be claimed by 
every child of God, no matter what his temper- 
ament. 

"Quit your meanness, and be saved," may 
pass for a "short method of salvation" and 
"religion made easy," and may be followed 
by shaking the preacher's. hand and joining 
the Church; but it is not the full and com- 
plete salvation from sin that is described in 
the Bible. Conviction of sin, repentance, 
faith, justification, regeneration, the witness 
of the Spii'it — all these are necessary to make 
a genuine Bible Christian. Nor have we any 
right to make personal salvation any simpler 



68 THK DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

or easier than the Bible makes it. When con- 
version is based upon an intelligent under- 
standing and a genuine experience of all these 
elements of salvation, then, and then only, 
does it mean experimental religion and impart 
spiritual power. Nor should we recognize any 
conscious sin as compatible with the regen- 
erate state except to be abhorred and forsaken, 
pardoned and cleansed, as soon as it is seen by 
the child of God. This ideal of holiness and 
freedom from sin is the birthright pri\'ilege 
and duty of every child of God from the very 
moment of his regeneration; and we must not 
lower God's high standard to make it fit man's 
shortcomings. 

Great as is the work above described in the 
salvation of a soul, it is not all that is to be 
done; indeed, it is nothing more than entrance 
upon the Christian life. And the Christian 
life does not consist in merely retaining what 
has been thus attained. The victory over sin 
has not yet been fully and finally won; the 
first great battle has been successfully fought, 
and the long warfare has begun. All sin "in 
sight" was given up at and in "conversion;" 
but other sin will presently come in sight as 
the Christian advances and his spiritual vision 
arrows clearer. And all holiness and love 



PEKSONAL SALVATION. fi9 

and duty in sight were welcomed, and assumed 
according to the degree of knowledge and 
faith then possessed-; but knowledge and 
faith will increase, and soon it will appear 
that if the character attained in justification 
and regeneration was regarded as "perfec- 
tion," \t was a very imperfect perfection. 
Sinlessness, entire holiness, the perfect life — 
that is the ever-advancing goal that is ahead 
of the regenerate child of God. 

Christian perfection is the name given to this 
doctrine which holds a place of highest hon- 
or in Methodist theology. Perfection is a 
term which the Scriptures use in describing 
the ideal religious experience and character 
which has been made possible by divine grace. 
Methodism, taking the term from the Bible, 
teaches that it is not only a possibility and a 
privilege, but the duty of every child of God to 
attain unto that type of Christian experience 
and character, and to lead that life that may 
be fitly described by the term "Christian per- 
fection." As to what is to be accomplished 
progressively and what instantaneously, and 
whether or not Christian perfection is a 
thing to be "professed" — these are points 
of secondary importance about which Metho- 
dists do now differ, and always have differed. 



VII. 
The Doctrine of the Future 

LiPE. 

It was a saying of one of the early Metho- 
dists that "man's chief business in this world 
is to get successfully out of it. " That was but 
another way of stating a truth so often ut- 
tered, in one form or another, by our Lord — 
that the life that begins at death is the one 
with reference to which we should constantly 
live in this world. "What is a man profit- 
ed if he shall gain the whole world, and lose 
his own soul ? or what shall a man give in ex- 
change for his soul?" But this view of the 
life to come — that it is the full and final reali- 
zation of the divine purpose concerning man — 
instead of making this life of little impor- 
tance, tends, on the contrary, to invest it with 
the utmost possible importance, seeing that it 
makes this life a probation in which man is 
charged with the responsibility of deciding by 
his conduct here what is to be his destiny in 
the world to come. The crowning attribute 
of man as a creature of God is his moral free 
agency, and this is true only because this life 
(70) 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE FUTURE LIFE. 71 

is probationary and preparatory to that life 
which is to come. 

Eschatology is that department of Christian 
theology that treats of those events which will 
transpire in the last days. Events that are 
signals or forerunners of the end of the world, 
as well as events that accompany and follow it, 
come imder this head. The one conspicuous 
event that will itself determine the end of the 
world is the second coming of Christ. Among 
the notable events which are associated with 
the end of the world are the following: 

(1) The gospel will he preached throughout 
the entire world: extensively it will have 
reached all parts of the earth before the end 
will come, though, as to its intensive effects, 
there will doubtless always be some people 
who have not come under its gracious influ- 
ences. (Matt. xxiv. 14.) 

(2) Tlie Jews will he hr ought in before the 
end comes. This does not probably refer to 
an actual restoration of the entire Jewish race 
to Palestine, as some hold, but rather to the 
conversion of the Jews as a race to Christian- 
ity. (Rom. xi. 15, 25.) 

(3) The millennium will be a period of a 
thousand years of such peace and prosperity 
to the Church that Christ is described as then 



72 THK DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

reigning upon the earth in some unique and 
significant manner not true of other periods. 
(Rev. XX. 1-9. ) 

(4) The coming of '^Antichrist,''' or the 
"Man of sin," who will be the enemy of God 
and man, and who will, it seems, embody both 
civil and ecclesiastical power, and be the lead- 
er in a ser^' -^us and widespread apostasy from 
the faith. ,Matt. xxiv. 21; 2 Thess. i. 8. ) 

(5) Chris fs second comitig in visible form is 
the most important event that shall precede 
the end of the world. ' ' Premillenarians " say 
that this second coming will take place at the 
beginning of the millennium, and that the 
millennium will consist chiefly in his visible 
and personal reign upon the earth for a thou- 
sand years. ' ' Postmillenarians " believe that 
Christ's second coming will take place at the 
end of the millennium, and hence describe his 
reign during the millennium as moral and spir- 
itual, and not in actual and visible person. 
They interpret the millennium as a period of 
indefinite length. Christ taught the certainty 
of the fact of his' second coming, but with 
equal clearness the uncertainty of the time of 
his coming. (Mark xiii. 32; Acts i. 11; 2 
Thess. i. 7.) 

(6) The second coming of Christ will be 



THE DOCTBINK OF THK FUTUKB LIFE. 73 

followed, according to the last, or postmille- 
narian, view (which has most generally pre- 
vailed in the Church), by the re»arreotion of 
all men from the dead. This resurrection will 
embrace the physical body, whose identity 
will be preserved. It is a fact that the human 
body changes in toto once every seven years, 
and yet identity of physical person is pre- 
served in spite of these numerous and total 
changes in substance. If God does this in na- 
ture, why should it be thought a thing incred- 
ible that he should in the resurrection repro- 
duce the same body, even though there be no 
particle of matter in the resurrection body 
that was originally in the earthy body which 
was buried and soon thereafter disintegrated 
and absorbed in surrounding nature? The 
resurrection body of the saints, it is stated, 
shall be made glorious, like unto the resurrec- 
tion body of the Lord Jesus. But although it 
is our mortal and physical body that is rep- 
resented as being raised, the new resurrection 
body is sometimes described as a "spiritual 
body," and certain it is that the attributes of 
the resurrection body that is described in the 
Scriptures belong much more properly to 
what we conceive spirits to be than to what 
we know material bodies to be. (Isa. xxvi. 



74 THE DOCTRINKS OF METHODISM. 

19; Dan. xii. 2; Luke xx. 37; John v. 28, 29; 
Rom. viii. 11; 1 Cor. xv. 44; Phil. iii. 21.) 

(7) What is called the intermediate or dis- 
enibodied state that begins with the death of 
the body will end at the resurrection, when 
the long-separated spirits are reunited to 
their resurrection bodies. The intermedi- 
ate state is not a state of unconsciousness, or 
"soul sleep," as some affirm, but a state of 
conscious misery for* the wicked and of con- 
scious happiness for the good. ( Luke xvi. 22, 
xxiii. 43; 2 Cor. v. 8. ) 

(8) The general resurrection will be followed 
by the day of jlnal jjudgment^ in which aU men 
will be judged, the wicked being separated 
from the good as a shepherd doth separate the 
goats from the sheep. This general and final 
judgment will simply confirm the sentence 
pronounced upon both the wicked and the 
good at death. "It is appointed unto men 
once to die, but after this the judgment." 
"For we must all appear before the judg- 
ment seat of Christ; that every one may re- 
ceive the things done in this body, according 
to that he hath done, whether it be good or 
bad." (Matt. xxv. 32; Acts xvii. 31; Rom. 
ii. 16.) 

(9) The future lot of the wiched is repre- 



THIS DOCTRINE OF THK FUTURE LIFE. 75 

sented as one of unrelieved and unending mis- 
ery. This misery does not consist so much in 
sufferings externally inflicted as in the pangs 
and torment of a guilty conscience. And if it 
be true that the misery of the lost grows thus 
out of evil character rather than out of mere 
external environment, it follows that misery 
is proportioned to guilt. But the misery and 
punishment of no lost soul, not even the 
worst in hell, will be one iota more in severity 
than that soul justly deserves. God, who is 
both omniscient and infinitely just, is the su- 
preme and final arbiter in this matter. And 
it is worth our while to bear in mind that the 
most awful words ever uttered concerning the 
doom of the incorrigibly wicked and finally 
impenitent in the life to come came not from 
Moses the lawgiver amid the thunders of Si- 
nai, nor from Jeremiah, the stern prophet of 
old, nor from John the Baptist, nor from 
Paul; but from the Son of Man, whose gospel 
was one of tenderness and love. We need to 
remember that, while it is truly said that 
"God is love," it is also said that "God is a 
consuming fire" to wicked and impenitent sin- 
ners. (Matt. XXV. 34, 46; Luke xvi. 25; 2 
Thess. i. 9; Rev. xx. 10-14. ) 

( 10) The future lot of the ri^ghteous is repre- 



76 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

sented as one of full and unending happiness. 
The happiness of heaven grows not primarily 
out of the place, out of mere external environ- 
ment, but out of character, and therefore dif- 
fers in degree for different individuals, being 
proportioned to the capacity of each soul to 
extract happiness out of the place that is pre- 
pared for God's children. If the Christian 
doctrine of the future life be true, this life of 
probation is a training school for heaven, and 
the object of life is the development, by grace 
and love, by service and sacrifice, of a holy 
character, which constitutes a moral capacity 
for extracting happiness out of heaven. The 
saints in heaven will not be rewarded on the 
ground of their good works, as if they were 
meritorious, but it has pleased God that they 
shall be rewarded "according to their good 
works." All souls in heaven will be holy, and 
therefore happy; but some develop more of 
holiness in this life than others; and therefore, 
as "one star differeth from another star in 
glory," so some souls will be happier than 
others in heaven. As spiritual growth is the 
great law of spiritual life in this world, so the 
heavenly life will doubtless be one of ever-in- 
creasing growth in holiness, and hence of 
ever-increasing happiness. The more of holi- 



THE DOCTRINE OF THE FUTUBJB LIFE. 77 

ness, the more will there be of happiness. 
(Matt. XXV. 34, 46; John xiv. 2; 2 Cor. v. 10. ) 

Most of these subjects embraced in Chris- 
tian eschatology have been made the subject 
of endless speculation. It is a department of 
theology which has a great fascination for a 
certain class of minds. While everything be- 
longing to Christian revelation is of impor-* 
tance, yet it is plain that some doctrines are 
far more important than others, and this be- 
cause they are more vital and practical. The 
truths whose vital importance transcends all 
others in this department of doctrine are the 
immortality of the soul and the fact that man's 
destiny in the future and eternal life is deter- 
mined by his free conduct in this life. To the 
consideration of these truths we shall there- 
fore devote our attention mainly. 

While the doctrine of a future life is con- 
tained in the Old Testament, yet much less 
stress is laid upon it there than is done in the 
New Testament. With the children of Israel 
"transitory promises" that pertain to this 
life had relatively more weight and influence 
than with New Testament believers generally, 
who have been trained in the school of Christ. 
St. Paul tells us that Christ "brought life 
and immortality to light through the gospel." 



78 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

The existence of the soul after death is not 
only assumed in the New Testament; it is ev- 
erywhere taught and everywhere emphasized. 
Hence, in this department of Christian theol- 
ogy more than in any other, we are under the 
necessity of confining ourselves almost entire- 
ly to the revelations contained in the New 
Testament. 

The Bible teaches that this life is the seed- 
time and the life to come is the harvest. We 
shall reap in the future life the fruit of om- 
seed-sowing in this life. The law of sowing 
and reaping is this: we must reap what we 
sow, and we reap more than we sow. This 
law pervades the moral and spiritual world 
no less than it does the physical and intellec- 
tual. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall 
he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh 
shall of the flesh reap corruption; he that sow- 
eth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life 
everlasting. " While it is true that every man 
is constantly reaping in this life the fruit of 
his sowing in former years, yet the largest 
harvest that he will reap is that which awaits 
him in the world to come. 

Men will be judged by the deeds done in the 
body. For every idle word that men shall 
speak they shall give account thereof in the 



THE DOCTKINE OF THE PUTUBB LIFE. 79 

day of judgment; according as their words 
and deeds shall be, they will be either justified 
or condemned. While it is repentance and 
faith that are the conditions of salvation in the 
first instance, and while it is possible for one 
to repent even on his deathbed and be saved, 
through the great mercy of God, yet it is life 
and works and character that determine sal- 
vation at the day of judgment. Repentance 
and faith are the moral conditions that make 
possible the attainment of that life and char- 
acter which are the conditions of salvation in 
that day when the secrets of all hearts and the 
real characters of all men will be revealed. 

The uniform teachings of the Bible are to 
the eftect that death ends probation in the or- 
dinary sense of that term. We read of no 
second probation after death. As the tree 
falls, so it shall lie. He that is then unjust, 
let him be unjust still; he that is then holy, 
let him be holy still. Our Lord speaks of a 
sin that is forgiven neither in this world nor 
in the world to come. Some have tried to 
draw from this utterance the inference that 
all sins except this "sin against the Holy 
Ghost" maybe forgiven in the world to come, 
and that therefore probation is continued after 
death. But this inference is unwarranted. 



80 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

Our Lord's words, rightly interpreted, mean 
that while it is true of all sins that they have 
no forgiveness in the world to come, here is a 
sin that is so serious and culpable that it places 
the transgressor, while yet in this life, beyond 
the possibility of his ever being brought to 
repentance and saving faith, and hence be- 
yond the possibility of pardon. The reason 
why any one becomes a sinner or continues to 
be a sinner is always in himself, and not in 
God. God will do nothing, either in this 
world or the world to come, to keep a sinner 
from repenting and giving up his sin. But it 
would be wholly unwarrantable to di-aw from 
this fact the inference that therefore lost sin- 
ners can and will repent in thjB world to come. 
Paul tells us that Christ not only brought 
life and immortality to light, but that he ' ' abol- 
ished death." This does not mean that when 
Christ came physical death ceased, or will ever 
cease till the end of the world. But it does 
mean that he totally transformed the doctrine 
of death. Instead of its being the cessation 
of conscious life, as many believed, or the de- 
scent of the soul into an "underworld," into 
a shadowy, semi-conscious, and unhappy state 
of existence, as others thought — and hence a 
thing to be feared and dreaded in either view — 



THE DOCTBINK OF THE FUTUBB LIFE. 81 

Christ taught that to all who live rightly in 
this present world death is the end of all that 
can make existence in any way unhappy, and 
the beginning of that state where nothing can 
mar the highest happiness of which the soul 
is capable. To the Christian, to be absent 
from the body is to be present with the Lord 
and to enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with 
Him. Many tigurative expressions are used 
to describe what death is to those who are 
found in Christ. To those who are weary 
with the labors and sufferings of life it is de- 
scribed as "rest for the weary" and "sleep 
in Jesus.'' Job says: "I will wait till my 
change come." The tiny worm that spends 
its brief existence within a few square yards 
of earth, and feeds on dust and bark and 
leaves, presently "dies" as to his present state 
of existence; but what is death to him but his 
translation into the beautiful insect that basks 
in the sunlight, flies at will in the glad air as 
its home, and feeds upon the perfume of the 
flowers? To the soul tabernacling in a suffer- 
ing body, who waits patiently mitil his 
"change" comes, death is that which trans- 
forms him who is a "worm of the dust" into 
a glorified spirit which bounds away into the 
glad freedom of the sinless and heavenly life. 
6 



82 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

To Paul death was simply the occasion of his 
"departure" into another life, his emigration 
to another and better country. If this doc- 
trine of death be true, then did Christ bring 
to them "who through fear of death had all 
their lifetime been subject to bondage" the 
abolition of death and the light of life and im- 
mortality. 

But while death is all this and more to those 
"in Christ," it is, nevertheless, likewise true 
that to all who are found out of Christ at 
death this "change," or "departure," is one 
that introduces them into a state far more aw- 
ful than that of nonexistence, and into a place 
more to be dreaded than a vague and shadowy 
imderworld of semi-conscious and burdensome 
existence. Since Christ came death has had 
a new meaning to the sinner as well as to the 
saint. If for the latter it is virtually abol- 
ished, for the sinner it is made the gateway to 
a life that is described as the "second death." 

These are the truths concerning the future 
life that Methodism has always taught and 
emphasized. That theology can alone be suc- 
cessful, either in calling sinners to repentance 
or in comforting saints, which gives no un- 
certain sound in its teachings concerning the 
life to come. 



yni. 

"The Doctrine op the Church. 

Our Thirteenth Article of Religion con- 
tains the following definition of the Chris- 
tian Church: "The visible Church of Christ 
is a congregation of faithful men, in the which 
the pure word of God is preached, and the 
sacraments duly administered according to 
Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of 
necessity are requisite to the same." 

This excellent definition suggests: (1) The 
relation of the Church to Christ, its divine 
Founder, whose ' ' ordinances " are its laws. (2) 
The Church is organized Christianity^ not an 
aggi-egation of detached and unrelated units, 
but a visible "congregation" or collection of 
men bound together by a common relation to 
Christ and to each other, and organized for the 
accomplishment of a definite purpose in the 
world. (3) It is composed of "faithful men" 
—that is, men who possess both faith in 
Christ and fidelity to Christ, to secure which 
type of character in its membership proper 
conditions of admission to the Church and a 
proper discipline over those in the Church must 
be enforced. (4) The first function of the 

(83) 



84 THE DOCTRINES OF METHODISM. 

Church is the teaching or preaching of the 
word, which must be committed mainly, 
though not exclusively, to those especially 
charged therewith and trained therefor — that 
is, the Christian ministry. (5) The sacra- 
ments, baptism and the Lord's Supper, are to 
be duly administered. (6) There are some 
things which "of necessity are requisite" to 
the Church and its sacraments, and other 
things which are not of necessity required — 
in other words, essentials and nonessentials in 
religion. In the former there must be unity; 
in the latter there may be liberty. 

While it is most common to designate the 
Church as the Church of Christ, it is none the 
less appropriately called the Church of God 
and the Church of the Holy Spirit. It is the 
Church of the Triune God. It is first of all 
called "the church of God" (Acts xx. 28) 
or the "household of God" (Eph. ii. 19). 
As such it has existed from the beginning, 
and is, in a sense, one in all ages. From the 
beginning of time there have always been 
true believers in God, and these have consti- 
tuted the true Church. 

The Church is most frequently and appro- 
priately designated as the Church of Christ. 
because it is founded upon his divine-human 



THE DOCTRINK OK THK CHURCH. 85 

person and work, upon his life and teaching, 
upon his atoning death and resurrection, upon 
his session at the right-hand of the Father, 
and his intercession for the saints. The new 
order of things which Christ came to. estab- 
lish, he usually designates as his kingdom, 
the "kingdom of God," or the "kingdom of 
heaven." Only twice does he use the word 
"Church" {ekklesia)^ the one case referring 
to a local assembly of Christian people (Matt, 
xviii. 17), and the other being the classic pas- 
sage in which he refers to the visible organi- 
zation of Christian believers for all time, and 
announces the faith, the foundation, and the 
perpetuity of the Church : ' ' He saith unto them 
[his disciples]. But whom say ye that I am? 
And Simon Peter answered and said. Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
And Jesus answered and said unto him. Bless- 
ed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and 
blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my 
Father which is in heaven. And I say also 
unto thee, That thou art l*eter, and upon this 
rock I will build my church; and the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. xvi. 
15-18.) When Christ said to Peter, "Upon 
this rock I will build my church," he prob- 
ably referred to St. Peter's confession, "Thou 



86 THE DOCTRINJBS OK MKTHOBISM, 

art the Christ, the Son of the living God;" 
the one great truth contained in which — viz. , 
the divinity of Christ — is the true rock of 
faith upon which the Church is built. Some 
think that Christ referred to himself as "this 
rock;" others, that he referred to St. Peter 
as a representative of the apostles, whose work 
and inspired teachings were, in an important 
sense, to constitute the foundation of the 
Church. 

The Church, again, is the Church of the 
Holy Spirit. The beginning of the Christian 
Church as a visible organization took place on 
the day of Pentecost. For this beginning 
Christ's work is shown by the Gospel records 
to have been preparatory. Not until our 
Lord's revelation concerning the nature of his 
spiritual kingdom was complete, and not un- 
til his atoning death and resurrection were 
become historical facts, had the time come for 
the historical beginning and foundation of 
the Church. The Church is the organ which 
the Spirit uses for the accomplishment of his 
work in the world. The Spirit can and does 
work under any outward form of Chm'ch 
government. That is the truest Church that 
can furnish, in the number of souls saved 
through its agency, the most indubitable and 



THK DOCTKINK OF THK CHURCH. 87 

abiding evidence of possessing this supreme 
credential: the presence and power of the 
Holy Spirit. 

The visible Church, in the widest sense of 
that term, includes all Churches and all mem- 
bers in all Churches who acknowledge Jesus 
Christ as their Head and trust in him and him 
alone for salvation. These constitute but one 
spiritual body, as viewed by Christ the Head. 
The true scriptural unity is not so much one 
of outward form as of inward life; it is a uni- 
ty based on a true confession of faith in one 
God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It 
is entirely consistent with this idea of scrip- 
tural unity that there should be many reli- 
gious denominations within the Church of 
Christ. 

There is a distinction to be made between 
the outward and visible Chm:ch, which is com- 
posed of all professing Christians, and the 
true spiritual and invisible Church, which is 
composed only of real and true Christians. 
While the visible Church will always contain 
in its membership some who are not in th^ 
invisible and spiritual kingdom of Christ, yet 
an effort should be made to make the two cor- 
respond as nearly as possible. The Church 
of the New Testament is composed of the 



88 TICK l>OCTRINKS OF METHODISM. 

saved: " The Lord added to them day by day 
those that were being saved." (Acts ii. 47.) 
Before any one is admitted to full member- 
ship in the Chm-ch, he should give evidence 
not only of his sincere "desire to flee the 
wrath to come and to be saved from his sins," 
but also of "the genuineness of his faith;" in 
other words, he should give credible evidence 
of having exercised such repentance and faith 
as are laid down in the New Testament as the 
conditions of salvation. This will secure, ap- 
proximately at least, a membership of truly con- 
verted people. If these scriptural conditions 
of salvation be required as the conditions of 
admission to the Church, and discipline be 
duly enforced, then will the visible Church 
be made as pure and spiritual as is possible 
here on earth, and then only will the Church 
be a "congregation of faithful men." 

The Christian ministry is a divine vocation 
in that only those may enter it who are di- 
vinely called thereto. We believe that the 
Holy Spirit chooses those whom he would 
have to preach, and indicates his choice of 
them by making an inward impression upon 
their minds as to their duty in this regard. 
But the Church also must sit in judgment on 
those who feel called to preach, and thus "try 



THK DOCTKIXE OF THE CHURCH. 89 

the spirits to see whether they be of God oi- 
uot." The Christian ministry, as its name 
indicates, is first of all an office of service. 
Ministers are servants of Christ and of the 
Chuich. The most important function of the 
ministry is to preach the word. The salvation 
of sinners and the edification of believers de- 
pend upon their fidelity to this part of their 
work. If the "pure word of God" is to be 
preached, the ministry must be educated in a 
right understanding and interpretation of the 
Bible; otherwise false and fanatical doctrines 
may be drawn from the word of God by mis- 
interpretation and unsound exegesis. 

Methodism recognizes but two institutions 
of the Church as sacraments: Baptism and the 
Lord's Supper. The Church retains the prim- 
itive and apostolic custom of baptizing in- 
fants. While it is the rule that the childi-en 
only of Christian parents (or guardians) are 
presented for baptism, yet the Church teaches 
that the right of a child to Christian baptism 
gi'ows out of his own relation to Christ, rath- 
er than that of his parent or guardian. As 
to the mode of baptism, Methodism favors 
poiu-ing or sprinkling as more simple and 
symbolic of the "washing of regeneration," 
but allows perfect liberty on the part of adult 



90 THE DOOTRIKKS OF METHODISM. 

applicants for Church membership to choose 
either of these modes or immersion. The 
Lord's Supper is regarded as a memorial serv- 
ice and a means of grace of more than ordi- 
nary sanctity. It is the privilege and duty of 
every member of the Church to partake regu- 
larly of this sacrament as opportunity offers. 

If our doctrine of the Church be true, every 
branch of the Christian Church is free to de- 
termine its own polity or form of govern- 
ment. The value of each can be tested only 
by time and experience. The polity of Meth- 
odism has been on trial for about a century 
and a half; and that of Episcopal Methodism 
for a little over a century, during which time 
it has been constantly undergoing modifica- 
tions and adaptations to new conditions as its 
growth and ever- widening mission seemed to 
demand. Judged by its history in the past 
and its efficiency and rapid gi-owth at the 
present time, it is doubtful whether any branch 
of the Christian Church, under the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, has ever devised a more 
scriptural and efficient form of government 
than that of the Methodist Episcopal Chm-ch, 
South. It behooves every student of Christian 
doctrines to give it a careful examination. 



PART SECOND. 



THE POLITY 

OF THE 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 
SOUTH. 



By Rev. James Atkins, D.D., 
Sunday School Editor. 



(91) 



PREFACE. 

In entitling the following pages "The Polity 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South," it 
is not meant that they contain anything like a 
full discussion of our economy. Such a pres- 
entation would involve a full exhibit of the ra- 
tionale of our Discipline, and even more. 

The object has been to set forth the more 
prominent features of our Church organization 
and plan of working, and to call the attention of 
our teachers to certain vital peculiarities of our 
system, upon which its continued and enlarged 
usefulness depends. If this much shall be ac- 
complished by this brief survey, the end aimed 

at will have been reached. 

James Atkins. 

(92) 



I. 

The General Rules. 

The Church of Christ is an aristocracy of 
virtue. It is the only one which has serious- 
ly and successfully battled for a place among 
men. Truly it is a kingdom of grace, but the 
only end of that grace is holiness of character 
and life. Tender and all-giving as Jesus was 
in his attitude toward penitent men, nothing 
can exceed his burning candor in laying down 
the conditions of discipleship. These condi- 
tions would be indeed harsh if the power of 
execution were not furnished from above. 
But by the divine reenforcement all things 
are possible, and most moral achievements 
easy, to men who believe. A life of self-de- 
nial is the natural order for one in whom the 
supreme act and purpose of self-abnegation 
have gone before, and a life of heroic moral 
doings is easy to a man who is moved upon by 
the Spirit of God. 

The moral code of Methodism is contained 
in what are called the General Rules. These 
rules have thrown their gracious, helpful do- 
minion over many millions who in these more 
than one hundred and fiftv years of our his- 

(9.3) 



94 OTTR POLITY. 

tory have gone from the self-denials and la- 
bors of this life into the rewards of another. 
There are now about seven millions within 
the Methodist fold who are confessedly walk- 
ing by the same rules. 

The only condition required of those who 
seek membership in our Church is "a desire to 
flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved 
from their sins." 

This surely is broad enough, and yet when 
interpreted in the light of the Rules it leaves 
nothing to be added. It certainly excludes all 
who have a desire to flee from the wrath to 
come and to be saved in their sins. 

Those who have this desire to be saved 
from wrath and sin will, if the desire be gen- 
uine, give evidence of it in three ways: 

First^ iy doing no harm — that is, avoiding 
evil of every hind. 

Secondly, hy doing good to hoth the hodies 
amd soids of men. 

Thirdly, hy attending upon the ordinances 
of God. 

The Things Forbidden. . 

Taking the name of God in vain. 

This includes: 

(1) Profane swearing and all forms of curs- 



THE GENERAL RULES. 95 

ing, especially such as involve the preroga- 
tives of the Deity. • There is much sinful 
swearing which does not contain the name of 
God, but implies it. He who curses his fel- 
low-man, with or without the mention of 
God's name, assumes a place of judgment 
which belongs to God only. 

(2) Perjury, or intentionally false swear- 
ing, in which God is called to witness to 
the truth of what is false. This indicates 
the utmost baseness of character, and the 
penalties of the civil law against it are justly 
severe. 

(3) All sacrilegious and other vain or light 
uses of the name of God, 

(4) All idle swearing, which long ago 
Chaucer pronounced a "crudeness," and 
which is now, and must ever remain at the 
least, an act of incivility, and lead the way to 
more serious and more hurtful forms of the 
oflfense. 

The name of God stands for his character, 
and therefore the breaking of the third com- 
mandment is one of the most dangerous and 
debasing of sins. 

Profaning the day of the Lord, elthei- hy 
doing ordinary work therein., <yr hy buying or 
selling. 



96 OUR POLITY. 

The three great doctrines taught by the 
Sabbath as we now have it are: 

(1) That God is the Creator of all things; 

(2) that Christ is risen from the dead; and 

(3) that all our time belongs to God. 

"The Sabbath, in its spiritual aspect and 
meaning, is one of the strongest defenses of 
the inspiration of the Bible and of the divin- 
ity of the religion which it reveals. It is 
man's day and God's day; more thoroughly 
man's day because completely God's day. 
It is their united time, time of fellowship, 
hour of communion, opportunity for deeper 
reading, larger prayer, and diviner consecra- 
tion." (Joseph Parker.) 

Christianity has no more important institu- 
tion than the Holy Sabbath. It would be 
difficult to overestimate the value of the day 
both to individuals and to communities. The 
demand for it is laid in the physical constitu- 
tion of man and the laboring animals. Not 
only was the Sabbath made for man, but man 
was made with reference to a Sabbath, so that 
in this regard, as well as in other things, it is 
to the best interests of man in his present 
state to obey God's commands. Such a rest 
18 necessary to the highest sanity of the indi- 
vidual and the community, and hence it is 



THE GENERAL KULBS. 97 

that the Sabbath is one of the greatest safe- 
guards of personal and national life. It 
therefore becomes the duty not only of every 
true religionist and philanthropist, but of 
every true patriot, to advance by all means a . 
proper keeping of the Sabbath day. 

It will be noted that in the divine institu- 
tion of the Sabbath it was made a day of 
rest, not of recreation. One of the worst 
evils of modern times is the habit of using 
the Sabbath as a day of recreation, and even 
of dissipation. It behooves all the teaching 
agencies of Christendom to set themselves 
against this pernicious drift by teaching in 
the home, the day school, the Sunday school, 
and the church how rightly to use the holy 
Sabbath. 

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for 
man, not man for the Sabbath; and in say- 
ing this he was breaking from off the Sab- 
bath those bm-densome conditions which the 
traditions of the Jews had placed upon it. 
The divine Sabbath had been so obscured by 
them as to be wholly lost sight of. The re- 
ligious teachers who were objecting to Christ's 
use of the Sabbath for works of mercy were 
teaching the people that a man should not wear 
shoes with tacks in them on the Sabbath, 
Y 



98 OtTK POLITY. 

lest the grass should be thereby crushed, 
and thus amount to a sort of mowing; and 
that a tailor should not place a needle in 
his coat late in the day before the Sabbath, 
, lest he should forget and leave it there, and 
thus bear a burden on the Sabbath day. 
These are but samples of much foolishness 
which was in vogue in that day, and which 
perverted God's day so as to make it a burden 
instead of a blessing. Now Christ, instead of 
abrogating the Sabbath or implying that it 
was to be used for recreation, was but re- 
storing it to its original place as a day of rest 
and religious improvement. 

It seems that there were in the days of 
Isaiah some who took the recreation view of 
the Sabbath, and the words of the greatest of 
the old prophets are sufficient to fully cover 
the case now. God, speaking through him, 
says: "If thou turn away thy foot from the 
sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy 
day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of 
the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not 
doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own 
pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then 
shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I 
will cause thee to ride upon the high places of 
the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of 



THE GENERAL RULES. 99 

Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord 
hath spoken it." (Isa. Iviii. 13, 14.) 

Let it be noted that the command to work 
on the other six days is as explicit and as bind- 
ing as that which requires us to rest on the 
seventh. 

Drunk&MieHs^ or <k%nhmg splrUuaas liqucyrs 
unless in cases of necessity. The Methodists 
from the beginning have been a temperance 
people, and they are still such, not in theory 
only but in practice. The American Metho- 
dists constitute, perhaps, the strongest single 
phalanx in the nation against this mammoth 
evil. But there needs to be the most thor- 
ough and constant teaching on this subject, in 
order that no generation of our young people 
shall be liable to repeat the folly and sin of 
drinking for lack of information. There is 
no sphere in which it is truer that eternal 
vigilance is the price of liberty. 

Intemperance is the costliest and most de- 
structive sin of mankind. It is this in itself, 
and in addition it leads in very many cases to 
every other form of sin. It is the mother of 
crimes. Intoxicants, even when used under 
the rule in "cases of necessity," ought to be 
used with the utmost caution and under the 
restraints of an enlightened conscience. The 



100 OUB POLITY. 

story of the man who was bitten by a snake 
and was given whisky for it, though not new, 
is exact and apt. The bite got well, and in 
due time the snake died, but twenty years 
later the man was still taking the medicine. 

All in all, total abstinence is the best rule, 
because the only one that is absolutely safe. 

(a) Fighting^ quarreling^ hrmoUng; (b) 
Irother going to law with Irother; (c) return^ 
ing evil for evil^ or railing for railing; (d) 
the using many vjords in huying or selling. 

(a) These things are but little less than 
barbarous, and are wholly out of harmony with 
that spirit of fraternity which is ever a mark 
of the truly regenerate man. 

(h) As a rule, litigation even for righteous 
claims is harmful to one's relations and influ- 
ence. In most cases it is better both morally 
and financially to pay a lawyer to keep you 
out of the courts than to take you through 
them. 

(c) "Evil for evil, or railing for railing," 
embodies the spirit of the old order of "an 
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," which 
Christ distinctly condemned. 

(d) "Let your communication be, Yea, 
yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than 
these cometh of evil." Talk straight to the 



XHB GENEEAL RULES. 



101 



point, and when you have done turn to some- 
thing else. 

The buying or selling goods that have not 

paid the duty. 

The days in which these rules originated 
were days of much smuggling. The govern- 
ment was being constantly defrauded by ship- 
pers and merchants who in various ways were 
avoiding the payment of the lawful duties. 
This was simply stealing from the govern- 
ment, and those who knowingly took part in 
the benefits were partners with the thieves. 
Of course no truly Christian man could do 
such a thing. The principle involved still 
abides. 

The tariff may be right or it may be wrong; 
but in either event the man who knowingly 
deals in goods which have not paid it is cer- 
tainly wrong. 

There is a very loose notion abroad as to 
the obligation on the part of the individual to 
deal fairly and justly with the government 
and with Corporations. An honesty which 
does not deport itself with exact righteous- 
ness in relation to both is not worthy of the 



name. 



The giving or taking things on usury, i. d., 
unlawful interest. 



102 OUR POLITY. 

The word "usury" is from the Latin word 
tisus^ which in this connection means "so 
much for the use of "—that is, any interest 
whatever. It is in this sense that the word 
is used in the Bible. It retained this sense 
until within the last three centuries. The 
Jews were forbidden by the law to take any 
interest from each other for the use of money 
or other commodities. Hence under their 
law any interest was usury. Usury now 
means unlawful interest — that is, interest at 
a higher rate than that provided for in the 
law of the State within which the business is 
transacted. The terms "giving" and "tak- 
ing" seem to include him who borrows at un- 
lawful interest as well as him who lends. It 
must, nevertheless, be allowed that the two 
cases are quite different as to the moral ele- 
ment involved. 

TJncharitahle or unprofitable conversation^ 
particularly speaking evil of magistrates or of 
ministers. 

This is an exceedingly important rule. The 
power of speech is one of the greatest and 
most dangerous dignities conferred upon 
man. "Out of the abundance of the heart 
the mouth speaketh." Purity of speech is 
one of the highest signs of a noble and re- 



THE GENBBAL BULKS. 



103 



fined nature. Coarseness dnd baseness of 
speech can come from but one source. Men 
do not often make mistakes in their esti- 
mate of it. The crudest men know that low- 
ness of speech is unbecoming the children of 

God. 

Uncharitable speech indicates a harsh and • 
uncharitable mood, if not a fixed disposition. 
It always inflicts two injuries, one upon the 
victim of it and the other upon the author. 
Charity even toward one's enemies is one of 
the strongest pledges of trueness toward one's 
friends. Uncharitable talk when once begun 
knows no limits. It is like a fire in a field, 
which does not burn according to metes and 
bounds, but by its own heat and the material it 
finds in all directions to feed upon. 

The unprofitable conversation referred to in 
the rule means light and trashy talk, such as 
is common among gossips and gabblers, and to 
which young people are especially liable if 
not rightly guarded against it. The unfur- 
nished mind finds it much easier to prate about 
things of no value than to prepare for season- 
able and profitable talk. But unprofitable 
conversation also includes more serious and 
thoughtful talk which lacks a pure and 
helpful purpose. This is even more to be 



104 OUR POLITY. 

avoided than idle and meaningless conversa- 
tion. 

Speaking evil of rulers and ministers is a 
very common fault. It seems to be assumed 
by many that any exaltation in office implies 
the right of the people to make a sort of tar- 
get of the man thus exalted. Nothing is far- 
ther from the truth. Such men deserve the 
sympathy and the support of those whom 
they represent in so far as these can be con- 
scientiously given. All faithful men occupy- 
ing places of trust and power realize that the 
higher they go as men reckon height, the 
heavier their responsibilities become and the 
more burdensome their duties. Men, wheth- 
er magistrates or ministers, who serve the 
people faithfully have a right to the moral 
support of the public. To discount this by 
evil-speaking is a wrong to the men and often- 
times a crime against the civil or religious in- 
terests which such men are set to serve. 

If rulers or ministers are either incompe- 
tent [or unfaithful, let a change be made in 
a constitutional way. Evil-speaking corrects 
nothing. 

In general, the habit of reckless criticism 
within the household needs to be most careful- 
ly guarded against. Much infidelity is bred 



THB GBNBRAl, BULKS. 



105 



in children by indiscriminate and indiscreet 
criticism of the preacher and the preaching. 
Whoever destroys in himself or another a 
genuine reverence for superiors in years, in 
attainments, in position rightly used, is fool- 
ishly cutting from above him the rounds of 
the ladder by which he would rise to higher 
things. A true reverence, especially in young 
people, is one of the most beautiful and 
charming of virtues, and is the spring of un- 
numbered blessings to society. It is the very 
chivalry of man's moral nature, and adorns 
every stage of life as nothing else can do. 

Doing to otliers as we would not they should 
do unto us. 

This is merely the negative statement of 
the golden rule, and includes all forms of in- 
jury to our fellow-men. 

Doing what we l^/nmo is not for the glory of 

God: a«, 

The putting on of gold and costly appa/rel. 

A display of extravagant and vainglorious 
finery is always unbecoming in the children 
of God. This is no doubt the spirit aimed at 
in this rule. Any such interpretation of it as 
would lead the Church to regulate the per- 
sonal habits of its members in regard to their 
attire has long since ceased. It is, neverthe- 



106 (U Tl POLITY. 

less, well for all to have due regard to situa- 
tion and ability in their dressing. The use of 
jewelry or fine clothing to the exclusion of a 
liberal part in the benevolent movements of 
the Church is wrong beyond question, and 
shows a low and selfish disregard of the 
claims of others for the necessities of life and 
for mental and spiritual enlightenment. It 
indicates a spirit which is far from the spirit 
of Christ. "If any man have not the Spirit 
of Christ, he is none of his." 

The talcing such diversions as ca/nnot he used 
in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

The language of this rule clearly implies 
that there are diversions which may be taken 
without injury. Diversions which are not in 
themselves harmful to health or character, 
when not used to excess so as to become a 
waste of time or a dissipation, may be used 
with profit. 

What those diversions are is left to the 
intelligence and conscience of the individual 
believer, except as to those which have been 
commonly condemned by men as evil, or have 
been pronounced against by the authorities of 
our Church . These prohibited amusements are 
dancing., card-playing.^ theater-going., attend- 
a/nce upon race courses^ circu^e.^, and the like. 



THE GKNEBAL RirLES. 107 

Chief among these offenses is the modern 
dance. The bishops, in their address to the 
General Conference of 1874, speak on the 
point as follows: "An explicit utterance was 
given by order of the last General Confer- 
ence, in our pastoral address, on 'Worldly 
Amusements.' We now repeat that utter- 
ance. We abate none of its teachings with 
respect either to manifest inconsistency of 
such indulgences with the spirit and profession 
of the gospel, or the perils which they bring 
to the souls of men. . . . Among these 
indulgences ... is the modern dance, 
both in its private and public exhibition, as 
utterly opposed to the genius of Christianity 
as taught by us." 

The General Conference of 1890 appointed 
a special committee of fifteen to prepare an 
address on the spiritual state of the Church. 
The report of this committee was adopted by 
the General Conference and published in the 
Discipline of that year. In that report is 
found the following language: 

"In this same condemnation, as equally 
contrary to the Scriptures, which declare that 
'the friendship of the world is enmity against 
God,' to our General Rules, and to the vows 
which our members have voluntarily assumed. 



108 OUR POLITY. 

this General Conference would include card- 
playing, theater-going, attendance upon race 
courses, circuses, and the like. These offenses 
are likewise jastifiable grounds of discipline." 

The General Conference, having adopted 
this report, took the following action: 

''^ Resolved^ That inasmuch as the deliver- 
ances of our bishops, as contained in their 
quadrennial addresses to the General Confer- 
ence from time to time, and as quoted at 
length by the Special Committee of Fifteen, 
have declared dancing, theater-going, card- 
playing, and the like worldly indulgences, to 
be contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and 
violative of the General Rules and moral dis- 
cipline of our Church, as also of the vows 
of our Church members; we therefore heart- 
ily indorse the aforesaid deliverances as con- 
taining the just and correct interpretation of 
the law in the premises, and as such this 
General Conference accepts the same as hav- 
ing equal force and authority as if contained 
in the body of the Discipline." (1[497, Dis- 
cipline of 1890.) 

These utterances and acts put the position 
of our Church on these diversions beyond 
question. In this regard the Methodist 
Church articulates and authoritativelv states 



THE GENEEAL BULES. 109 

what all the leading Churches hold. Espe- 
cially is this true of the modern dance, which, 
though practiced by many Church members 
in the various denominations and is even con- 
nived at by some communions, is approved 
by no Church in Christendom, and is severe- 
ly condemned by most. 

A consensus of religious opinion running 
through many ages of trial and embracing 
many peoples touching the injurious nature of 
any practice is itself an almost unanswerable 
argument against such practice. But a care- 
ful examination into the data upon which the 
Church has made up and holds its estimate of 
the dance will furnish ample proofs to every 
age that the practice is thoroughly carnal, 
wars against spiritual interests, and brings 
much detriment to the spiritual life of many 
who engage in it. 

But let it be noted that a wise administra- 
tion of discipline in regard to these things 
will never be harsh. It is sometimes very 
difficult for young persons to see in these di- 
versions what the Church sees. While all 
sane young persons can see that a vow delib- 
erately made and deliberately and habitually 
broken involves sin, it is still best to reen- 
force them with such knowledge of the in- 



110 OUB POLITY. 

herent or incidental evil of these practices as 
will make them both clear and strong in their 
own views against them. A wise discipline 
will, therefore, always be by instruction, by 
patience, and in the main by persuasion. 

The singing those songs, or reading those 
books, which do not tend to the knowledge or 
love of God. 

The songs and books of a people are the 
mightiest factors in determining of what char- 
acter a people shall be. Singing and reading 
are, therefore, suitable subjects for advisory 
rules on the part of the Church which would 
bring its members to the highest and best. 
This rule does not mean that we are to sing 
no songs or read no books except such as are 
distinctly religious in character, but rather 
that we shall avoid all such as are pernicious 
or empty of substantial good. In Mr. Wes- 
ley's time there was very little that was 
wholesome and edifying in the literature of 
the day, and much that was bad, and he did a 
truly great work in expimging, recasting, 
and making books for his people to read. 
There is now no more important interest for 
parents and religious teachers to look after. 
Many a young person has been ruined by 
making a companion of one bad book. 



THK GENERAL BULBS. HI 

Of. 



Softnens or needless self-indulgenct 
There is no room for a lazy man in the 
kingdom of God. A self-indulgent and ease- 
seeking person cannot fairly claim to be a 
follower of our Lord, who himself came not 
to be ministered unto but to minister, and who 
went about doing good. The servant is not 
above his Lord. It is every man's duty to be 
diligent, not only in spiritual concerns but 
also in temporal affairs. No amount of 
wealth or opportunity for ease can free a man 
from the obligation to pursue with alacrity 
some chosen field of service. 
Laying iip treasure upon ea/rth. 
Mr. Wesley in one of his sermons gives 
three great mottoes on this subject: (1) Make 
all you can. (2) Save all you can. (3) Give 
all you can. Make all you can consistently 
with perfect integrity and the rights of oth- 
ers. Save all you can— that is, waste noth- 
ing. Give all you can consistently with yom- 
plain obUgations. Mr. Wesley himself made 
much, wasted nothing, gave everything. Had 
he been a man of family, he probably could 
not have made so much, wasted so little, or 
given all. Nevertheless, he preached the 
right doctrine and gave the right example 
concerning earthly treasures. Some wag has 



112 OUB POLITY. 

said pithily at least that the maxim which 
governs the business world of to-day is: 
"Make all you can, and can all you make." 
Perhaps no desire is more universal and more 
hurtful to spiritual life than the desire to lay 
up treasure upon earth. The Church is by 
no means free from it, and there is much 
need of sound teaching in order that our peo- 
ple may be saved from an inordinate love of 
the world. 

Borrowing without a prohahility of 'pouying^ 
or taking up goods without a prohahility of 
paying for them. 

This is virtually obtaining money or goods 
under false pretenses, which is a misdemean- 
or under the laws of many, perhaps most, of 
the States. Thoroughgoing honesty is one of 
the most valuable fruits of the gospel, and is 
one of the most charming traits in Chm-ch 
members as they are looked upon by the eyes 
of the world. There are honest pagans; 
shall any Christian be less? 

The next section of the Rules, on doing good, 
is given so clearly and in such detail as to need 
no comment. It is as follows: 

It is expected of all who contiwue in these so- 
cieties that they should continue to evidence 
their desire of salvation, 



THE GENEBAL EULES. 113 

Secondly^ hy doing good^ hy being in every 
kind merciful after their -power ^ as they home 
opportv/nity^ doing good of every possible sort^ 
a/nd^ as far as possible^ to all men: 

To their bodies^ of the ability which God giw- 
eth^ by giving food to the hungry^ by clothing 
the naked, by visiting or helping th^n that are 
sick or in prison; 

To their souls^ by instructing^ reprovingy or 
exhorting all we ha/oe any intercourse with; 
tra/mn/pling under foot that enthusiastic doctri/ne 
that ^^ive are not to do good unless our hearts 
be free to it^ 

By doi/ng good, especially to them that are of 
the household of faith, or groaning so to be; 
employing them preferably to others, buying one 
of another, helping each other' iri biisiness; and 
so much tlie more because the. 'woi'ldwill love its 
own, a/nd them only. 

By allpossihle diligence and frugality, that 
the gospel be not blamed. 

By running with patience tJie race which is 
set before them, denying themselves, and taking 
up their cross daily; submitting to bear the re- 
proach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscour- 
ing of the world, and looking that men should 
say all mcmner of evil of them falsely for the 
Lord'^s sake. 



114 OUB POLITY. 

It is expected of all who desire to continue m 
these societies that they should continue to evi- 
defice their desire of salvation^ 

Thirdly, hy attending upon all the ordinmices 
of God; such are. 

The public worship of God. 

There is much strength in fellowship, no 
matter what the issue; especially is this the 
case in spiritual things. No man is so strong 
as not to need the reenf orcement which comes 
from communion with those of like mind and 
heart. The doctrines of the Fatherhood of 
God a;id the brotherhood of man stand very 
close together. He who has lost his seme of 
fellowship would do well to look closely into 
the foundations of his faith. The great de- 
fection of Thomas against his Lord was due to 
his being absent from the fii-st prayer meeting 
after the resurrection. "Forsake not the as- 
sembling of yourselves together, as the man- 
ner of some is." When the Pentecost came, 
the disciples were of one accord in one place. 
The divine presence is promised to the assem- 
blies of the saints. 

The ministry of tJie word, either read or ex- 
pounded. 

Jesus ordained that the world should be 
sa^'ed by the preaching of the gospel. There 



THE GENERAL RULES. 115 

is no substitute for preaching. It has regu- 
lated the ethical state of men through the ages, 
more than any other influence, and will prob- 
ably continue to do scf to the end. 

Paul asks: " How can they hear without a 
preacher? " It may also be asked: "How can 
he preach without hearers ? " It is the plain 
duty of every member who can to attend regu- 
larly upon the ministry of the word, and espe- 
cially upon that of his own Church. All the 
good ends of good preaching are helped by 
good hearing. 

The Supper of the Lord. 

Our Lord, who while living made himself 
of no reputation, left of himself when depart- 
ing no monument except that he made of the 
perishable elements, bread aad wine, a remem- 
brancer. Even this is conditioned upon love 
and faith upon the part of those who eat and 
drink. He did not designate a place, a time, 
or a quantity. He said in substance: Do this 
as oft as ye shall do it in remembrance of me. 
The use of this holy sacrament is both a privi- 
lege and a duty. Many have been deterred 
from it by foolish and superstitious conceits. 
He eats and drinks worthily who eats and 
drinks with faith, and, it might be added, 
with a sense of his own unworthiness. ' 



116 OUR POLITY. 

It ifi the place of the stewards in each charge 
to procure and arrange the elements for the 
Hacrament. This should always be attended 
to in a becoming way. • In some places there 
is much neglect. A neat pitcher, however 
cheap, is better than the bottle which some- 
times appears. There is no occasion in con- 
nection with which there is more reason that 
all the proprieties should be carefully ob- 
served. 

Family and private pray&f. 

There can be no spiritual life without prayer. 
It is " ^he Christian's vital breath . " The neg- 
lect of it is always followed by religious de- 
cline. The great movements of the Church 
can be marked by the presence of men and 
women who wero mighty in prayer — princes 
who prevailed with God. 

The family altar is the birthplace of rev- 
erence and devotion as is no other place on 
earth. Parents who allow their children to go 
into the severe ordeals of life without its hal- 
lowed memories and fruits commit a great 
wrong against their offspring. 

Searching the Scriptures. 

One might as well expect to become a great 
lawyer without studying the common law or 
the statutes of his State as to become a robust 



THE GENERAL EULE8. 117 

Christian without a thorough khowledge and 
frequent reading of the word of God. It is 
the sword of the Spirit, and he who fights sin 
in himself and others must know and constant- 
ly use it. The tendency to turn all Scripture 
study out of the family into the Sunday school 
is pernicious. The home is the best place for 
readying and studying God's word. 

Fasting or ahstinence. 

This rule has fallen very much into disuse. 
It is, nevertheless, an important one. There 
are occasions in religious life and effort for 
which fasting or abstinence is an alinost nec- 
essary preparation. It is wholesome for the 
body, quickens the mental faculties, tends to a 
sense of dependence by impressing us with the 
perishable nature of our bodies and of all ter- ' 
restrial life, leads to gratitude for material 
gifts, and in many ways helps toward a more 
spiritual order of living. 



n. 

The Conferences of Methodism. 

When a number of persons join in the doing 
of any work, it is well for them to understand 
thoroughly three things : the reasons for do- 
ing the work, the methods by which it is to 
be done, and the field in which they are to 
labor. 

In the foregoing statement of our doctrines 
are given what may be called in the highest 
sense the reasons for all the labors which have 
engaged the Methodists for more than a cen- 
tury and a half and are engaging them now 
throughout the world. In the following pages 
it is proposed to set forth in a very brief way 
the polity of Methodism, or its method of 
working, and also to outline at least the fields 
of its operation. 

It may be well to say at the outset that the 
polity of Methodism is unique — that is, it dif- 
fers in so many vital points from the polities 
of the other Churches that there has been 
nothing hitherto in ecclesiastical history to 
which it may be compared. It will become 
necessary in these pages to stress these pe- 
(118) 



THK <:OXFERENCKS OF METHODISM. 119 

culiarities, sometimes to the point of making 
a comparison of its results with those obtained 
by other branches of the Christian Church, for 
whose character and methods the writer en- 
tertains a profound respect. 

The assembly name of Methodism in all its 
branches is the word "Conference." The 
spirit and purpose of Methodist assemblies is 
very well conveyed by this term, which means 
a meeting together in order to confer touch- 
ing all the persons and interests which lie 
within the domain of the Conference. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
has five kinds of Conference : Church, Quarter- 
ly, District, Annual, General. 

1. The Church Conference is composed of 
all the members of the local Church and resi- 
dent members of the Annual Conference. 
The pastor is the chairman. A secretary is 
elected annually by the body. This Confer- 
ence is very much like a family meeting in 
which all the interests of the household may 
be freely discussed and all local interests 
looked after, and is invaluable in quickening 
all the interests of the Church. 

The Church Conference is directed to meet 
once a month in stations, and at least once 
every three months at each appointment on 



120 



OUR POLITY. 



circuits. For order of work see Discipline, 
•[91. 

^. The Quart&dy Conf&rence. — This body 
meets, as its name implies, once a quarter, or 
four times in each Conference year. It is 
composed of all the traveling and local preach- 
ers residing within the circuit or station, with 
the exhorters, stewards, trustees, and class 
leaders of the respective circuits, stations, and 
missions, together with the superintendents of 
Sunday schools who are male members of the 
Church, the secretaries of (Church Confer- 
ences, and the presidents of Senior Epworth 
Leagues, when eligible. The chairman of the 
Quarterly Conference is the presiding elder 
or, in his absence, the preacher in charge. 
For order of work see Discipline, ^[87. 

3, The Disti'ict Conference. — This meeting 
is held once a year in each district at such 
time as the presiding elder may appoint. 
The District Conference is composed of all 
the preachers in the district, traveling and 
local, and of laymen, the number of whom 
and the mode of their appointment each An- 
nual Conference determines for itself. The 
chairman of the District Conference is a 
bishop or, in his absence, the presiding elder. 
For order of work see Discipline, ^ 72. 



THK COXFKRKNCKS OF METHODISM. J2l 

li.. The Annual Conference. — This Confer- 
ence is composed of all the traveling preach- 
ers in full connection with it and four lay rep- 
resentatives from each district. The lay mem - 
hers are chosen annually by the District Con- 
ference, and participate in all the business of 
the Conference except such as involves minis- 
terial character. The number and bounds of 
the Annual Conferences are determined by the 
General Conference. The time of each meet- 
ing is appointed by the bishop in charge, and 
the place is fixed by the Conference. The 
President of the Annual Conference is one of 
the bishops or, in his absence, a member of 
the Conference elected by ballot. The presi- 
dent thus elected discharges all the duties of 
a bishop except that of ordination. 

This is by far the most important, though 
not the highest in authority, of all the Con- 
ferences of Methodism. It has executive su- 
pervision of all the interests of the Chm-ch 
within its prescribed bounds, such as furnish- 
ing the people with the gospel. Home and 
Foreign Missions, Church extension, Sunday 
schools, Epworth Leagues, and Christian 
education. It has also large powers of initia- 
tion. Indeed, much of our General Confer- 
ence legislation originates as to the thought 



122 OUR POLITY. 

and plan within one or more of the Annual 
Conferences, and no constitutional matter 
passed upon by the General Conference can 
become law without the approval of three- 
fourths of the members of all the Annual Con- 
ferences. 

The Annual Conference passes at each ses- 
sion upon the personal life and official admin- 
istration of .every preacher who is a member 
of it. The method adopted in this is as open 
and clear as possible. The name of each man 
is called in open Conference under the ques- 
tion, "Are all the preachers blameless in fheir 
life and official administration ? " The answer 
must be audible and without ambiguity. If 
a negative answer be given by anybody, lay 
or clerical, the law provides for an immediate 
investigation, and the acquittal of the accused 
or the imposition of proper penalties, the 
extremest of which is expulsion from the 
ministry and the Church. The right of ap- 
peal belongs to every member who is con- 
victed of any crime. That appeal is to the 
General Conference next ensuing. If a mem- 
ber be tried and acquitted, .there can be no ap- 
peal: the decision of the Annual Conference 
is final. The Annual Conference has the 
right to locate one of its members for ineffi- 



THE CO^'FEKKNCES OF METHODISM. 123 

ciency or unacceptability. Such action does 
not imply anything against the personal char- 
acter of the one so dealt with. 

We have forty-six Annual Conferences. 
Foui- of these are in foreign countries, and 
one lies partly in Mexico and partly in the 
United States. 

5. The General Conference.— This body is 
composed of an equal number of traveling 
preachers and laymen, elected by the several 
Annual Conferences. The maximum and min- 
imum ratios of representation are fixed by what 
is called the Second Restrictive Rule. Within 
the limits thus fixed the General Conference 
may determine from time to time such ratios 
as it may deem advisable. The present ratio 
is one clerical member for every forty-eight 
members of each Annual Conference, and an 
equal number of lay members. The latest 
General Conference (1902) was composed of 
two hundred and seventy-eight members. 

The President of the General Conference 
is one of the bishops or, if all the bishops 
should be absent or disabled, a member of 
the body elected by ballot. The bishops are 
not members of the General Conference oth- 
erwise than as Presidents of the body when 
in session. 



124 OUE POLITY. 

The General Conference is the only legis- 
lative assembly of the Church, and its busi- 
ness is largely transacted through estab- 
lished committees, very much as in other leg- 
islative bodies. The standing committees 
are fourteen in number, and are as follows: 
Episcopacy, Revisals, Boundaries, Itinerancy, 
Missions, Sunday Schools, Epworth League, 
Education, Temperance, Finance, Church 
Extension, Publishing Interests, Colportage, 
Appeals. 

The General Conference, being a delegated 
body, representative of the whole Church, 
has power to do whatever it deems best for the 
interests of the Church within the limits pre- 
scribed in the Six Restrictive Rules. It has 
power also to alter any of these rules except 
the first, which relates to the making of any 
change in our Articles of Religion. The 
method prescribed for altering any of the 
other five is given in a proviso to the Sixth 
Rule. It provides that the proposed change 
shall pass the General Conference by a two- 
thirds majority, and then be ratified by 
three-fourths of the members of the sever- 
al Annual Conferences present and voting. 
Such proposals of change may originate with 
the Annual Conferences. In that event the 



THE CONFEBENCES OP METHODISM. 125 

order is reversed, and a three-fourths vote 
in the Annual Conferences must be followed 
by a two-thirds vote of the General Confer- 
ence. 

The General Conference meets once in f our 
years in the month of April or May, and at 
such place as it may select. 

In the interim of the General Conferences 
the work prescribed by it is carried forward 
under the direction of the following 

General Boards. 

(1) The Book Committee, which has full 
supervision of all our publishing interests, 
and to which all connectional officers are 
amenable for their official conduct till the 
meeting of the General Conference. This 
committee is composed of thirteen members, 
six clerical and seven lay, elected by the Gen- 
eral Conference, on nomination of a special 
committee appointed by the bishops. It elects 
its own chairman and secretary quadren- 
nially. 

(2) The Board of Missions, which consists 
of a President, Vice President, Secretary, 
Treasurer, and seventeen managers, elected 
by the General Conference quadrennially. 
The bishops and the Secretary of the Board of 



126 OUR POLITY. 

Church Extension are ex officio members of the 
Board. 

The Board of Managers has full charge of 
all foreign missionary affairs, such as the 
raising of funds and their application, the 
selection of candidates for the work, and the 
supervision of all the interests of the Church 
in foreign fields. 

This Board has also an Assistant Secretary, 
elected by the Board quadrennially. 

(3) The Sunday School Board. This Board 
consists of six members, five elected quad- 
rennially by the General Conference, and the 
Sunday School Editor, who is elected quad- 
rennially by the General Conference, and who 
is ex officio chairman of the Board. To this 
Board belongs the general managenrent of all 
Sunday school interests throughout the 
Church. 

(4) The Ep worth League Board, consisting 
of thirteen members, six clerical and six lay 
and one of the bishops, who is e,c officio Presi- 
dent of the Board. Besides the President and 
General Secretary, who is elected quadi-en- 
nially by the General Conference, the other 
officers are three Vice Presidents and a Treas- 
urer, who are elected quadrennially by the 
Board. 



THE CONFERENCES OF METHODISM. 127 

(5) The Board of Education, which is com- 
posed of fifteen members, elected by the 
General Conference on nomination of the 
Committee on Education. The Board elects 
its own President, Vice President, and Re- 
cording Secretary, who also acts as Treasurer. 
The Corresponding Secretary, known as the 
Secretary of Education, is elected by the 
General Conference. 

It is the duty of this Board to supervise all 
the educational interests of the Church, as 
provided for in Chapter XII. of the Disci- 
pline. 

(6) The Board of Church Extension, which 
consists of a President, Vice President, Cor- 
responding Secretary, and Treasm-er, and 
thirteen members, elected quadrennially by 
the General Conference, and continuing in 
ofBce until their successors are elected and 
accept. The bishops and Secretary of Board 
of Missions are ex oftcio members of the 
Board. For a full statement of the work com- 
mitted to this Board see Discipline, 1 % 381- 
393. 

All these Boards meet once a year, usually 
in the month of May, and in the city of Nash- 
ville, except the Board of Church Extension, 
which meets in Louisville, Ky. 



m. 

The Itinekanot. 

The Methodist itinerancy is the most per- 
fectly organized obedience the world has 
yet seen to the great commission: "Go ye 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to 
every creature. " 

The two commands of the commission are 
to go and tojpreach. 

A Chm*ch which was the chief exponent of 
that phase of Arminian theology which teach- 
es that all men are free to be saved, and that 
nothing stands in the way thereto except their 
own agency, could not logically stop short of 
claiming the world for its parish. To visit- 
that parish with the gospel was the great 
economic problem with which it undertook 
to deal in the production of an itinerant plan 
for the preaching of the gospel. 

Every one entering our traveling connec- 
tion solemnly pledges himself to go any- 
where to preach the gospel, whither the ap- 
pointing power may send him. This does not 
mean simply anywhere within that Annual 
Conference with which he connects his for- 
(128) 



THE ITINERANCT. 



129 



tunes, but anywhere within the range of a 
reasonable demand for his services. 

This leads me to remark that the Metho- 
dist itinerancy is as general as the episcopa- 
cy. Every preacher who unites with any 
Conference thereby joins the traveling connec- 
tion—that is, joins the ministry of Southern 
Methodism to go whithersoever the bishop 
may see such need of his services as justifies 
his appointment. This is the economic fact 
upon which the transfer power of the bishop 
is based. Otherwise the transfer power would 
become nothing more than a power of per- 
suasion, and as a matter of authority amount 
to nothing. It is proper to say here that our 
bishops usually, perhaps unexceptionally, con- 
fer with a preacher to be transferred from 
his own to another Conference, so as, in a 
good measure, to secure his assent before he 
is appointed. The bishops, nevertheless, have 
the power to transfer a preacher to any field 
within our boundaries without his consent, and 
even against his will in the case. It is due to be 
said here that, inasmuch as our itinerancy is as 
general as our episcopacy, and as our Church 
confers upon the bishops the right to transfer 
preachers without any final right on the part of 
the preachers to refuse, such preachers, when 



130 OUR POLITY. 

transferred, have the same right to considera- 
tion and fellowship as those who have been 
members of the receiving Conference from 
the beginning. As a matter of fact, the 
transfer has to forego many things which are 
peculiarly dear to a Methodist preacher in 
order to serve the Church by obeying the or- 
der of Providence and the appointing power 
to the extent of leaving his own Conference 
to take work in another. 

But the life work of nearly all our preach- 
ers is within the bounds of the Annual Con- 
ference with which they first connect them- 
selves. Within those bounds every man is 
appointed to his work each year by the bish- 
op who presides. The bishop alone is the 
responsible appointing power. This does not 
mean that no others exert an influence. The 
bishop receives much advice, a large amount 
of which he is no doubt wise in disregard- 
ing. But so vast a movement as the itin- 
erancy does not leave so vital a matter to 
haphazard. The bishops are furnished with 
the best system possible for obtaining coun- 
sel of the most seasoned kind in regard 
to both the preachers to be appointed and 
the fields to be served. For the full vindi- 
cation of this position it is necessary that we 



THE ITINEBAXCY. 131 

glance at the order of work within the Con- 
ference. 

Each Annual Conference contains quite a 
large territory, sometimes a whole state, 
sometimes a half state, and so on, according 
to the population to be served, etc. The lar- 
gest Conferences have from one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred pastoral charges, em- 
bracing from sixty to one hundred thou- 
sand Church members. Each Conference is 
divided into a number of presiding elders' dis- 
tricts, from ten to twelve, according to the 
number of charges in the Conference. These, 
districts usually contain from twelve to twen- 
ty pastoral charges. The presiding elder, 
appointed annually by the bishop, has charge 
of the district, and his duties in general are 
to preach on four occasions in each pastoral 
charge, to preside over the Quarterly and 
District Conferences, counsel with the preach- 
ers for their own improvement and for the 
benefit of the Church, and to see that all the 
interests of the Church are looked after. 
This office is one of very great importance, 
and when duly magnified stands second only 
to that of a bishop. It involves heavy labors^ 
large responsibilities, and vast opportunities. 
This leads us back to the question of the 



132 OUR POLITY. 

appointing power and the usual method of its 
exercise. All the presiding elders of an An- 
nual Conference compose a council which has 
come to be called the bishop's cabinet. Usual- 
ly the presiding bishop calls the presiding 
elders to meet him daily, and they together 
go carefully over the charges, examining into 
the work of the preachers, and making a ten- 
tative appointment of each to a place. There 
are frequent revisions of these appointments 
before they are ready for announcement at 
the close of the Conference. Not only does 
the bishop have the full benefit of the counsel 
of these chosen advisers, .but any preacher or 
layman has access to the presiding elders and 
the bishop to show any view he may hold in 
regard to men and places. But after all, the 
responsibility for every appointment is with 
the bishop, who, if he should choose, has 
power to change all the appointments agreed 
upon by the presiding elders, including the 
places of the presiding elders themselves. 

It has been said by some that this order 
places too much power in the hands of the 
bishops. This might be true under certain 
conceivable conditions. But so long as wise 
men do not put themselves to great trouble 
to do foolish things, or good men to do bad 



THE ITINERANf^V. 



13a 



things, in either case without reward and in 
full view of persuasive penalties, there is no 
danger of the misuse of this peculiarly sacred 
power. Bishops are, of course, not infallible, 
and may be deceived either intentionally on 
the part of some who approach them or un- 
wittingly on the part of others, and thus mis- 
takes may occur. But even in that event 
there are more expeditious and easier correc- 
tions in our system than in any other yet tried 
by the Church. 

No preacher is appointed to any work for 
more than one year at a time, nor can any be 
appointed to the same charge for more than 
the fourth year in succession, except in those 
peculiar cases provided for in the Discipline. 
Now and then a little local antagonism on 
the part of preachers and congregations has 
appeared on account of this feature — the time 
limit; but in reality there is not a more im- 
portant feature of the itinerant system. 
' It has been said that it prevents us from 
having a settled pastorate, such as is found in 
the Churches which have the congregational 
form of government, where the congregation 
selects the pastor and keeps him so long as 
the people want hira and he wishes to stay. 
A few instances of a pastorate running through 



134 OUB POLITY. 

forty or even fifty years have given an incor- 
rect impression as to the average duration 
of the pastoral term in the congregational 
Churches. On the other hand, the liability 
to an annual change in our pastorate and the 
certainty of it at the end ©f four years have 
produced an erroneous impression as to its 
average duration. 

Some years ago Bishop McTyeire made a 
very careful inquiry into this matter and 
brought to light some very surprising data. 
He made the field of comparison to cover the 
leading towns and cities of the South and 
Southwest where our Church has its chief 
sphere of work. The three leading Congre- 
gational Churches of the same region are the 
Baptist, the Presbyterian, and the Protestant 
Episcopal. Bishop McTyeire obtained the 
record of the pastorates of these three Church- 
es through a considerable period, and found 
that the average pastoral term in our Chm'ch 
was longer than the average term in the other 
three — that is, putting together the pastorates 
of the other three Churches and obtaining the 
average for the three, ours was found to be 
the longer term. The Bishop called attention 
to another feature of the situation which is 
worthy of note — viz., that when in other 



THK ITINEBANCY. 



135 



Churches the people would be rid of a pastor 
they must construct a prize with which to 
lift him out, while with the Methodists the 
wheel rolls round on schedule and rolls him 
out. There can be no doubt as to the supe- 
riority of the wheel over the lever as a means 
of locomotion. 

But there is a much more important thing 
than the length of the pastoral term which 
has been accomplished by our system as by 
no other— viz., the constant furnishing of all 
our people with preaching and the other 
means of grace. 

It has been the economic boast of Metho- 
dism that it has no preacher without a Church 
to serve, and no Church without a preacher. 
In the congregational Churches this, evil is 
inevitable and constant. Occasional reports 
made public touching this question show 
thousands of Churches in the United States 
without a pastor, and about the same number 
of pastors without a Church. 

Through the itinerant plan as used by us not 
only is every congregation constantly sup- 
plied with pastoral service, but by reason of 
our connectional order men are often appoint- 
ed to places where we have neither an organ- 
ized society nor a place of worship. They 



136 OTJK POLITY. 

are sustained out of a fund raised in each 
Conference for that purpose until the people 
have been evangelized and have themselves 
become contributors to the further spread of 
the same gospel which has saved them. 

The itinerancy requires that many things 
of a social nature be foregone by both pastor 
and people, things which in themselves are 
delightful and worthy to be sought. It also 
involves many inconveniences, and even to 
this day hardships of no ordinary kind. But 
it is the best way of doing the thing proposed, 
and is not likely to decline or grow effete so 
long as the Methodist people maintain that 
spirit of obedience to the great commission 
which led to its origination and its use thus 
far. 

The success of the itinerancy as a means 
of evangelization has been truly wonderful. 
The organized movement began in England 
with all odds against it in 1739, and in Amer- 
ica in 1769. So rapid has been the growth 
of the Church that its members now number 
nearly seven millions, with probably not less 
than fifty millions of adherents. It has not 
only grown populous beyond any precedent, 
but it has become rich and influential, and 
has affected favorably the doctrines and poli- 



THK ITINEBANCTf. " 137 

ties of nearly all the Protestant denomina- 
tions. God has unquestionably set his seal of 
approval upon it. Notwitstanding the mar- 
velous progress of the past, it is evident that 
Methodism has but fairly begun its career of 
evangelization, provided its leaders and peo- 
ple are true to its doctrines and life. Many 
lands, with their teeming unsaved millions, 
await its ministry. In no land where it has 
been planted thus far have its truths and 
plans of work failed to command th6 respect 
and acceptance of the people. 



IV. 
Our Mit^istry. 

We hold steadfastly to the doctrine that 
God calls those whom he would have to pro- 
claim his message, and that such a call implies 
a call to thoroughly prepare for the best use 
of the holy office. 

When one is inwardly persuaded of his call 
to the ministry, he is, if on examination found 
worthy, recommended by the Quarterly Con- 
ference of the charge to which he belongs for 
license to preach. This recommendation is 
now to the District Conference. Formerly— 
that is, from the time of our organization till 
lg94_the licensing of preachers was by the 
Quarterly Conference. The District Confer- 
ence receiving the recommendation examines 
into the gifts, graces, and usefulness of the 
candidate; and, finding him worthy, grants a 
license for one year, which must thereafter be 
annually renewed until the local preacher thus 
made is ordained a deacon. This ordination 
comes in due course, by vote of the An- 
nual Conference, in four years, provided 
the local preacher has done satisfactory work 
and is recommended by the District Confer- 
(138) 



OUR MINISTBY. 



139 



ence for this order. If the local preacher thus 
made desires to join the traveling connection, 
he procures a recommendation from the Dis- 
trict Conference to the Annual Conference for 
admission on trial. At the session of the An- 
nual Conference he is examined by two com- 
mittees touching his gifts, attainments, and 
suitableness for this work. If found worthy, 
and if he be needed, he is admitted on trial 
by a majority vote of the Annual Conference. 
He is not then a member of the Conference, 
but is a local preacher on trial to become a 
member. If at the expiration of two years 
he has proven his fitness for the work, and 
passed satisfactory examinations on the course 
of study for the two years, he is by order of 
the Conference ordained a deacon and admit- 
ted into membership in the Conference. If 
he continue for two years more to demon- 
strate his fitness for the work, and pass the re- 
quired examinations on the com-se of study tor 
the third and fourth years, he is ordained an 

elder. u • • 

When- once admitted into membership in 
the traveling connection, there are five ways 
of going out: To withdraw; to die; to be ex- 
pelled for immorality, as provided for m the 
Discipline; to ask for and receive a location; 



140 OUR POLITY. 

and to be located by vote of the Conference 
for inefficiency or unacceptability. When lo- 
cation occurs, either by request or by the un- 
solicited vote of the Conference, the one thus 
located remains a local preacher. 

It should here be noted that the work of a 
local preacher is chiefly to preach within the 
charge to which he belongs, under the direc- 
tion of the preacher in charge, and to assist in 
all manner of religious work as opportunity 
may offer. The local preacher pursues some 
other vocation for a livelihood, and usually 
receives nothing for his services as a preach- 
er. The local preacher has been, through 
most of our history, a great power in the 
Church. With the multiplication of reg- 
ular pastors, and a decrease in the size of 
pastoral charges, by which most of our peo- 
ple are furnished with frequent opportuni- 
ties for hearing the word, there has come 
a decline in our local ministry which is to 
be much regretted. There is still room for 
the constant employment of thousands of 
such godly and devoted men, and the seer 
who can suggest a plan by which the local 
ministry can be restored to its pristine pow- 
er and spiritual glory will confer a lasting 
benefit upon the Church. The English Meth- 



OUR MINISTKY. 



141 



odists, amidst their crowded conditions, are 
making great use of it. 

Within the Annual Conference, and apart 
from those who are in the active work, there are 
supernumerary and superannuated preachers. 
•'A supernumerary preacher is one who is so 
disabled by affliction as to be unable to preach 
constantly, but who is willing to do any work 
in the ministry which the bishop may direct 
and he may be able to perform.'' "A super- 
annuated preacher is one who is worn out in 
the itinerant service." Superannuated preach- 
ers are supported in whole or in part, usually 
in part, and a very small part at best, out of 
the superannuates' fund— a fund raised chiefly 
by collections throughout the Annual Confer- 
ence for that purpose. 

The highest place in om- ministry is that of 
bishop, or General Superintendent. Om- bish- 
ops are elected by the General Conference, 
which, as we have seen, is a delegated body 
composed of an equal number of traveling 
preachers and laymen. Bishops are in every 
way amenable ito the body which makes them. 
The life and oflficial administration of each is 
passed under review once in f oiu: years. This 
is done in what is known as the Committee on 
Episcopacy. Any preacher or layman in the 



142 OTJB POLITY. 

connection may come, by letter or in per on, 
before this committee with any complaint he 
may wish to make. It thus happens that our 
bishops' lives are lived in the open like those 
of all our preachers. No class is held to a 
stricter accountability; and yet there is in 
that Committee, as elsewhere, a profound 
reverence for the oflBce and for those who 
are called to fill it. This is largely due to 
the unimpeachable integrity and purity of 
those who have been occupants of that 
place. We have never had a case of trouble 
with a bishop on moral grounds, and none 
of a serious nature on grounds of adminis- 
tration. 

The College of Bishops meets once a year, 
in the month of May, to consider all the inter- 
ests of the Church committed to them. There 
is an annual assignment made of each bishop to 
the work of the ensuing year. This is done 
through a committee of bishops appointed for 
that purpose by the College. 

There is no class of preachers among us to 
which is assigned so long and varied a list of 
duties as to our bishops. Their responsibili- 
ties are of the largest, and their fields of labor 
practically boundless. This will be readily 
seen by reading, in Chapter III., Section 2, of 



OUR MIXISTRY. 



143 



the Discipline, what the Church provides that 
its bishops shall do. 

The bishops, being general superintendents, 
are supported by the general Church out of 
funds collected for the purpose within each 
Annual Conference. Bishops who have be- 
come superannuated, and the widows and chil- 
dren of deceased bishops, are sustained in the 
same way. Both the salaries and allowances 
are fixed by recommendation of the Commit- 
tee on Episcopacy. 



V. 

Our CoifNECTioisrALisM. 

We may say, without any disparagement 
of other forms of Church government, that 
there is one element in Methodism which sur- 
passes anything hitherto known in Church 
organization. That feature may be called 
the genius of it rather than a mere element. 
We refer to its connectionalism. We call it 
the genius of Methodism because it pervades 
with its spirit every part of the system from 
the reception of a preacher on trial to the 
bishopric or general superintendence, and is 
in all the work of the Church from the exten- 
sion of church - building within the home 
field to the giving of the gospel to every 
creature. By connectionalism we mean that 
summation of conditions by which the whole 
Church is present in a good sense wherever 
any part of it exists — that is, each part is in 
vital relation to all the others. The most in- 
experienced preacher in the humblest field is 
there in effect by the appointment or will of 
the whole Church. The Church brings this 
appointment about by the simplest and most 
rational method possible. Tt is through the 
(144) 



OUR CONNECTIONALISM. 145 

bishop, who has a wholly general relation, and 
who is as truly subject to appointment by his 
peers as the pastors are to appointment by 
him. He has his work assigned him once a 
year, and each time his field is as liable to be 
within China or Brazil as in Tennessee. But 
this general superintendence, which is thus 
free from local prejudices, is not a haphazard 
matter. The bishop does his work after 
coimsel from the presiding elders, whose busi- 
ness it is to know in as far as possible both the 
man and the field. The bishops themselves 
are elected to this work by the whole Church 
in a delegated assembly, which is composed 
of traveling preachers and laymen in equal 
numbers, and the bishops are constantly ame- 
nable to this body for the way in which they 
exercise this appointing power as well as all oth- 
er functions which belong to the office. It is 
in this way that the whole Church makes the 
appointment of any preacher, whether he be 
the pastor of the remotest mission, with its 
peculiar hardships, or the episcopacy, with its 
fullness of care and responsibility. This 
principle finds most impressive illustration 
when an Annual Conference meets in its last 
session to receive the appointments. In the 
^hole body not a man knows certainly what 
10 



146 OUR POLITY. 

his field of labor will be until the pronounce- 
ment falls from the lips of the bishop, the 
man through whom the Church appoints him. 
These men are not less ardent in their at- 
tachments because of the fact that their sys- 
tem makes them cosmopolitan in their sym- 
pathies and habits of thought. No men have 
stronger individuality or more definite pref- 
erences than Methodist preachers: They go, 
nevertheless, whithersoever they are sent with 
a good cheer which is utterly inexplicable to 
those who do not understand the workings of 
our system. There is no truer exhibition of 
moral sublimity in all the organizations of 
men than an Annual Conference receiving the 
appointments. 

There is not to be found elsewhere in hu- 
man history such a combination of self-sur- 
render and pure democracy as is found in the 
Methodist itinerancy and its loyal acceptance 
by the Church. The self-surrender element 
is found in the Catholic Church, especially in 
its Jesuitism, but the democracy is not there. 
With the Romanists everything proceeds from 
a so-called infallible pope; with the Metho- 
dists everything, including its qiinistry 
throughout, is of the Church. The self- 
surren(iler of the Methodist preacher, while 



OITR CONXECTTOXALISM. 147 

in a broad and high sense absolute, is yet un- 
der guard of a democratic order so thorough 
and complete as to take out of it all elements 
of mere chance and as far as possible all dan- 
gers from mere personal prejudice. In other 
words, his surrender is not to any man or 
committee of men, but to the whole Church 
for the good of the whole. Not only so, but 
the surrender of the right, on the part of the 
preacher, to choose his field of work is an- 
swered back to by the surrender, on the part 
of the congregation, of its right to choose a 
pastor. And yet there is no lack of intelli- 
gent counsel both ways. A practical outcome 
of this order is that probably no Church is bet- 
ter satisfied with its pastors, and no preachers 
more unselfishly devoted to their people. 

As it is in the ministry, so it is in the work 
of the Church. The Church itself in general 
council determines what work shall be under- 
taken of a general order, and by a rational 
method determines what part of the work 
shall be done by each part of the Church, and 
thus stands back of the individual pastor, as 
he proceeds to his task, and furnishes the 
pledge of its assembled wisdom to each con- 
gregation as it goes forward with the achieve- 
ment of its part of the whole. It will be 



148 OUR POLITY. 

easily seen that this plan greatly reenforces 
the individual invention of the pastor, and, 
when the pastor is wholly lacking in inven- 
tion, provides for a safe and harmonious 
schedule of Church work. 

In the connectional order of Methodism 
the Boards of Management are truly General 
Boards. Each Annual Conference has its own 
Boards, but in addition to superintending lo- 
cal or Conference interests these Boards have 
a connectional side. They execute within the 
Annual Conferences the plans of the General 
Boards. The General Boards are created by 
the General Conference every four years, and 
in all the interests committed to them they 
stand for the General Conference in the in- 
terims of its meetings. In this way the will 
of the general Church or General Confer- 
ence is made to run on without lack of 
authority or resources as surely and as suc- 
cessfully as if each interest were under the 
immediate direction of the General Confer- 
ence itself. As a result of this arrange- 
ment, whatever these Boards undertake, 
within the limitations put upon them, be- 
comes a matter for the whole Church, in the 
doing of which the honor of the Church is 
involved, and in which the loyalty of every 



OUR CONNECTIONALISM. 149 

charge to the will of the general Church comes" 
into play. 

There are certain things which stand related 
to this connectional organization very much 
as in geometry a corollary is related to a the- 
orem and its processes of demonstration. 
Logically considered, they are "obvious con- 
sequences," whether they have as yet mate- 
rialized into a part of our polity, as some of 
them have, or stand forth only in the form of 
a logical demand that the Church shall use 
them. 

One of these corollaries is the transfer 
power, which is born of the relation of our 
general superintendency to our general itiner- 
ancy as set forth in the discussion of "Our 
Itinerancy." 

Two other conclusions which connectional- 
ism was bound to reach, and did reach long 
ago, were a connectional organ and a connec- 
tional publishing interest. How well these 
have worked, we have all seen long ago. 
Some years ago, when the Publishing House 
became involved to a point of practical insol- 
vency, the connectional spirit was appealed 
to, and a process was begun which resulted 
quickly in its recuperation, and brought it in 
a short while to foundations which are among 



150 OUR POLITY. 

the secui-est in modern commerce. The same 
thing was illustrated in the payment in one 
year of a missionary debt of more than one 
hundred and thirty thousand dollars without 
.diminishing the regular collections for that 
interest. This magnificent result was largely 
due to the fact that when the Secretary, Dr. 
Morrison, went forth on his mission he was 
as much at home and in authority in San 
Francisco as he was in Nashville, where the 
oflices of the Boards are located. Again the 
rallying of the connectional spirit, and the 
use of the connectional opportunity, saved 
the cause. 

But there are two other conclusions which 
are inevitable from the connectional order of 
Methodism, which are just beginning to be 
realized as a part of the polity of the Church. 
One of these is a connectional system of edu- 
cation. The present Board of Education has 
taken steps which unquestionably tend in that 
direction, and some progress has been made 
toward practical results. Indeed, the act of 
the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University 
and of the General Conference in making 
that institution the university of the whole 
Church gives promise of a thoroughly re- 
lated and compacted system which will en- 



OUR CONNECTIOXALISM. 



151 



able us to lead the van, not by the sacrifice of 
other great schools, but by an order which 
will help them all, and which will reach 
down and clasp hands with the public school 
system so as to conserve rather chan in any 
sense surrender the Methodist element in 

them. 

But perhaps the finest conclusion, and one 
which we are barely entering upon, is the 
creation of a connectional fund for our super- 
annuated preachers. The doing of this is an 
easy thing under a proper plan and with the 
right time limits. This is a matter in which 
we can much better afford to go slowly than 
not to go at all. The lifetime of a Church is 
a long stretch. So long as om- itinerancy 
continues, the worn-out preacher without re- 
sources is to be a stupendous fact in our 
Church life. The late General Conference 
(1902) determined upon the raising of five 
million dollars for this purpose. The sources 
chiefly relied upon under that order are pop- 
ular collections and bequests. Other sources 
will probably be put under contribution later. 
There are at least two others which might 
be used with great profit to the fund. The 
first of these is a certain per cent of the pop- 
ular collection in every charge. The stimu- 



152 



OUR POLITY. 



lating effect of such a movement would make 
the remaining per cent a larger amount than 
that which is now raised for the same pur- 
pose, and would result in the bringing of 
this great claim clearly before oui- people. 
The second is a fixed percentage of the clear- 
ings of the Publishing House. 

After all, nothing of an economic kind 
would have a better effect in guarding our 
ministry against the danger of the contin- 
uance of inefficient men in the traveling con- 
nection. Such a fund would bring a better 
service and a gi-eater dignity to the Church, 
and a larger sense of security to the faithful 
men who are toiling on amidst galling limita- 
tions to serve their generation by the will of 
God. 

It is easy to see that the Methodist polity, 
when operated according to its design, is an 
organization of tremendous force and un- 
equaled flexibility. The system is capable 
of a vast impact, one which is scarcely re- 
sistible within the domain of the Church's 
work. But from the fact that our polity is 
a perfect concatenation of parts — that is, a 
chain of essential links — it follows that a 
want of strength or adjustment at any point 
affects the efficiency of the whole order. It 



OUR CONNECTIONALISM. 153 

implies, therefore, an extraordinary respon- 
sibility for all those who have any vital con- 
nection with the operation of the system. 

From what has been said concerning the 
relation of parts in our system, it is not diffi- 
cult to see that we are at the farthest remove 
from the congregational system. The two 
orders are as unlike as possible. They will 
not mix. Whether the congregational order 
could be improved by the organic adoption 
of certain features of our polity is a curious 
question on which we do not desire to enter; 
but that any tendency toward congregational- 
ism, or even broader forms of localizing, 
works detriment to our interests there can 
scarcely be any question. It is a question 
whether or not there is such a tendency in 
some sections among us. We have occasion- 
ally seen symptoms which look in this direc- 
tion, but nothing which indicates a serious 
change of thought, only a loss of sympathy. 
It is well, however, for every pastor and 
teacher to keep careful and statesmanlike 
guard over the loyalty of the people to our 
connectional order and interests. And it is 
well to remember that this loyalty is not a 
thing to be effected by the exercise of author- 
ity, but to be developed by a broad intelli- 



J 54 OUR POLITY. 

gence as to the nature of our polity and of 
the vastness and importance of the general 
work which the Church has taken in hand, a 
work which is impossible of full accomplish- 
ment except by the cordial cooperation of all 
the congregations. It sometimes happens that 
a community, or an element in a community, 
loses sympathy with the general movements 
of the Church, then loses the sense of connec- 
tionalism; and finally, finding itself unable to 
cooperate in this disjointed state with the 
gi-eat body, goes off into independence— that 
is, becomes congregational. As a rule, such 
movements have not succeeded; as a rule, 
they probably never will. The conditions of 
success which belong to the regular congrega 
tional system are wanting, and the conditions 
which bring success to a connectional Church 
have been rejected. 

What Methodism could do, if every man 
would only do his duty in an ordinary meas- 
ure, staggers conception. It is able not only 
to girdle the globe with a holy and trium- 
phant evangelism, but also to belt it with insti- 
tutions of learning, of reform, and of char- 
ity. To have part in the operation of a sys- 
tem the possibilities of which are beyond 
speech -7- almost beyond figures --implies a 



OXm CONNBCTIONALISM. 155 

vAst responsibility, the very thought of which 
ought to arouse every Methodist to new vigor 
in the doing of his part. The system itself is 
in default at no point. The only trouble is a 
lack of fidelity on the part of those who have 
formally given their allegiance but have with- 
held their aid. 



VI. 
Fields of "Work. 

Missions. 

The missionary work of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, is divided into 
Foreign Missions and Home Missions, and is 
under the supervision of the Board of Mis- 
sions, the Woman's Foreign Missionary Board, 
the Woman's Home Mission Board, and one 
Board in each of the Annual Conferences. 

The statistics of these several fields are as 
follows: 

BOARD OF MISSIONS. 

The following figures show the increase in 
contributions for missions in the quadren- 
nium ending March 31, 1902: 

Prom 
Eegular Collections. All Sources. 

1899 $ 320,494 92 $ 255,525 03 

1900 235,116 51 284,220 46 

1901 267,084 32 330,356 65 

1902 291,672 79 362,135 85 

Total for quadrennium . .$1,014,368 44 $1,232,237 99 
Former quadrennium... 901,593 24 1,077,388 13 

Increase... $ 113,775 20 $ 154,849 86 

Number of missionaries, 160. Number of 
native preachers, 102. 
(156) 



FIELDS OF WORK. 157 

CHINA MISSION CONFERENCE. 

This mission was founded in 1848. Our first 
missionary in that field was Rev. Chas. Taylor, 
of the South Carolina Conference. The latest 
reports give the following figures: Mission- 
aries (including wives), 33; native traveling 
preachers, 15; members, 934; Sunday schools, 
29; scholars, 1,712; Epworth Leagues, 18; 
membership, 599; organized Churches, 27; 
Churches entirely self-supporting, 3; board- 
ing schools, 2; pupils, 264; day schools, 8; 
pupils, 153; hospital, 1; dispensaries, 2; pa- 
tients treated, 16,462; total collections, $1,- 
416.55; total value of mission property, $195,- 
932.50. 

THE KOREA MISSION. 

The Korea Mission forms one district of 
the China Mission Conference; but the lan- 
guage, national life, and general conditions 
make the work so radically different that 
financially and administratively it is separate- 
ly considered by the Board. It was opened 
by Bishop Hendrix in 1895. Dr. C. F. Reid, 
of the China Mission, was appointed superin- 
tendent. The conversion of Mr. T. H. Yun 
and his urgent appeal to enter Korea became 
a call of Providence to the Church. The su- 
perintendent reports: Missionaries (including 



158 OUR POLITY. 

wives), 12; local preachers and helpers, 28; 
members, 424 (increase, 155); Sunday schools, 
11; scholars, 343; dispensary, 1; patients 
treated, 405; collections, $272; total value of 
mission property, $30,115. 

JAPAN MISSION CONFERENCE. 

Our work was begun in this field in 1886 
by Drs. J. W. and W. R. Lambuth and O. 
A. Dukes. The mission was organized into 
an Annual Conference in 1892. In this An- 
nual Conference we have: Missionaries (in- 
cluding wives), 39; native traveling preach- 
ers, 11; members, 744; Sunday schools, 42; 
scholars, 1,654; Epworth Leagues, 2; mem- 
bers, 60; organized Churches, 15; Churches 
entirely self-supporting, 2; boarding schools, 
2; pupils, 586; day schools, 8; pupils, 181; 
total collections, $1,245.17; total value of 
mission property, $62,694. 

BRAZIL MISSION CONFERENCE. 

Our missionary operations in Brazil had 
their commencement in 1872, when Rev. J. eJ. 
Ransom, our first missionary to that field, was 
sent out. The mission was organized into an 
Annual Conference in 1886. There are now 
in the Brazil Mission Conference: Mission- 
aries (inchiding AviVes), 28; native traveling 



FIELDS OF WORK. 159 

preachers, 1^; members, 3,^43; Sunday schools, 
65; scholars, 2,370; Epworth Leagues, 7; 
members, 315; organized Churches, 48; Church- 
es entirely self-supporting, 7; boarding school, 
1; pupils, 53; day school, 1; pupils, 39; total 
collections, $7,301.38; total value of mission 
property, $115,338. 

MEXICO. 

In thirty years this mission has grown into 
three Annual Conferences. The combined sta- 
tistics of the Central (organized in 1886), the 
Northwest (organized in 1890), and the Mexi- 
can Border (organized in 1885)— three Mis- 
sion Conferences now in Mexico, which rep- 
resent the fruits of incessant toil and heroic 
devotion for thirty years— are: Missionaries 
(including wives), 34; native traveling preach- 
ers, 53; members, 5,814 (increase, 106); Sun- 
day schools, 116; scholars, 3,862; Epworth 
Leagues, 47; members, 1,545; organized 
Churches, 168; Churches entirely self-support- 
ing, 5; boarding school, 1; pupils, 212; hos- 
pitals, 2; patients treated, 3,133; total collec- 
tions, $5,180.30; total value of mission prop- 
erty, $167,107.08. 

CUBA MISSION. 

Our first work in Havana was organized in 
1896, and in 1898 Cuba was taken under the 



160 OUE POLITY, 

control of the Board as a regular mission field. 
We are establishing ourselves firmly on the 
island, as is shown by the erection of a sub- 
stantial stone church in Matanzas and the pur- 
chase by Bishop Candler for $15,000 of a cen- 
trally located property in Havana well adapted 
for church and school purposes. The work 
has grown steadily, there being a marked in- 
crease over last year. Rev. D. W. Carter, su- 
perintendent of the mission, reports the follow- 
ing statistics: Missionaries (incuding wives), 
14; native traveling preachers, 2; members, 
454 (increase, 62); Sunday schools, 9; scholars, 
552; Epworth Leagues, 3; organized Churches, 
8; day schools, 3; pupils, 288; collections for 
all purposes, $2,884.57; total value of mission 
property, $40,000. 

OTHER MISSIONS. 

In addition to these six foreign mission 
fields occupied by our -Church, we have a Ger- 
man Mission and an Indian Mission Confer- 
ence, and our General Board of Missions to 
aid the work of our Church in the Pacific, the 
Los Angeles, the Columbia, the East Colum- 
bia, the Denver, the Montana, the Western, 
and the New Mexico Conferences. 



FIELDS OF WORK. 1^1 

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD. 

The officers of the Board for the quadren- 
nium beginning May, 1902, are as follows: 
Bishop A. W. Wilson, President; Rev. James 
Atkins, Vice President; Rev. Walter R. Lam- 
buth. Secretary; Rev. Seth Ward, Assistant 
Secretary; J. D. Hamilton, Treasurer. 

Woman's Boakd of Foreign Missions. 

This Board was given its constitution in 
Atlanta, Ga., by the General Conference, in 
1878. During the first year $4,104. 27 was col- 
lected, but the service at home last year result- 
ed in $104,017.95, making the total of $1,396,- 
188 collected since organization. The Wom- 
an's Board supports 67 missionaries in the 
following countries: China, Korea, Brazil, 
Mexico, and Cuba. The women sent out oc- 
cupy 29 stations, conduct 22 boarding schools 
and 61 day schools, and there are 170 native 
and foreign assistant teachers, 78 Bible wom- 
en, 218 scholarships, 6 kindergartens, 2 hos- 
pitals, and 2 Bible schools. There are 567 
boarding pupils, 1,008 day school pupils, with 
about five thousand women and children under 
instruction, about two thousand of whom are 
Sunday school pupils. The value of property 
owned by the Woman's Board of Foreign Mis- 
11 



162 OUB POLITY. 

sions, including the Scarritt Bible and Train- 
ing School, is ^01,500. 

The officers of the Board are as follows: 
Mrs. M. D. Wightman, President; Miss Maria 
L. Gibson, First Vice President; Mrs. A. W. 
Wilson, Second Vice President; Mrs. S. C. 
Trueheart, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. T. 
B. Hargrove, Recording Secretary; Mrs. H. 
N. McTyeire, Treasurer. 

Woman's Home Mission Society. 

The Woman's Home Mission Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, came into 
existence in 1886. 

The object of this Society is to enlist Chris- 
tian women and children in secui'ing homes 
for itinerant preachers, in helping to make 
comfortable the families of those ministers 
whose charges are unable to provide sufficient 
support, and providing religious instruction 
for the neglected and destitute. 

OFFICERS. 

Miss Belle H. Bennett, Richmond, Ky., 
President; Mrs. John D. Hammond, Nash- 
ville, Tenn., First Vice President; Mrs. F. B. 
Carroll, Dallas, Tex., Second Vice President; 
Mrs. R. W. MacDonell, Nashville, Tenn., Gen- 



FIELDS OF "WORK. 163 

eral Secretary; Miss Emily M. Allen, Macon, 
Ga., Recording Secretary; Mrs. W. D. Kirk- 
land, Nashville, Tenn. , General Treasurer. 

STATISTICS. 

Number of members, 29,034; receipts for 
connectional work, $269,935.11; receipts for 
local work, $456,010.55; total receipts, $725,- 
945.66; number of parsonages built and aided, 
1,265; money donated to parsonages, $117,- 
284.23; money loaned to parsonages, $37,100; 
value of supplies distributed outside of re- 
ceipts above stated, $44,921.06; number of 
boarding and day schools supported, 4; num- 
ber of night schools supported, 5; number of 
pupils enrolled, 1,080; number of missionaries 
and teachers employed, 47; number of city 
mission boards, 9; number of Rescue Homes 
and Doors of Hope, 2; value of property, 
$69,000. 

PABSONAOES. 

During the year the Board granted $3,475 
to 37 parsonages, while the Conference Socie- 
ties, through their 50 per cent of dues, helped 
92 to the amount of $6,424, thus making a to- 
tal of 129 parsonages granted $9,899. Since 
organization 1,265 parsonages have been aided 
to the amount of $117,284.23. 



164 OUB POLITY. 

SUPPLIES. 

Last year goods valued at $8,136.54 were 
forwarded to the heroes who hold those fields 
known as the "hard appointments." In ten 
years $44,021.06 has been distributed through 
this department. 

SCHOOLS. 

Of no part of our work are we more hope- 
ful than of these character-building institu- 
tions. The three schools for the Cubans at 
Tampa, Ybor City, and Key West haVe been 
filled by 403 scholars under the instruction of 
14 teachers. 

At London, Ky., the pupilage has been 265, 
and during the year 32 students have been 
converted. A large per cent of these students 
go out to become teachers in district schools, 
thus enlarging the influence of this school, 
known as the Sue Bennett Memorial School. 

The Industrial Home and School at Greene- 
ville, Tenn., under the direction of Mrs. E. E. 
Wiley, has given fostering care to 113 children 
during the year. 

On the Pacific Coast the Society carries on 
night schools at Los Angeles, for Chinese; and 
at San Francisco, Oakland, and Alameda, for 
Japanese. Since the organization of these 
schools more than five hundred and fifty-nine 



^isLds of wo&k. 165 

Students have been enrolled, and full three 
score have become Christians. 

At Augusta, Ga., in an annex to Paine Col- 
lege, the society has undertaken the industrial 
training of the young negro women who are 
enrplled as students. 

Two schools among the Choctaw Indians of 
Mississippi have been opened. 

Work has also been instituted in the mines 
of West Virginia. 

CITY MISSIONS. 

In eleven cities the auxiliaries are organized 
into City Mission Boards, employing trained 
missionaries. In Atlanta, Nashville, and Nor- 
folk small beginnings have been made in set- 
tlement work, the missionaries living in needy 
8ectix)ns, thus getting into the home life and 
close to the hearts of the people. 

The Sunday School. 

The Sunday school work is conducted for 
the double purpose of instructing the young 
in a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and 
of training them in the habits of Christian 
work. 

In each congregation the Sunday school ia 
under the management of the Quarterly Con- 
ference, which elects the superintendent an- 
il * 



166 OUB POLITY. 

nually on nomination of the pastor, who is 
the superintendent in chief of all the schools 
within his pastoral charge. The pastor and 
superintendent together select the teachers 
and give direction to their work. 

The Sunday School Department is under 
the management of the Sunday School Board, 
which consists of five members, and the Sun- 
day School Editor, who is ex officio chairman. 
The Board is elected quadrennially by the 
General Conference. The members for the 
current quadrennium (1902-06) are as fol- 
lows: James Atkins, D.D., Nashville, Tenn., 
Chairman; John O. Willson, D.D., Green- 
wood, S. C. ; John R. Pepper, Memphis, 
Tenn.; B. M. Washburn, Montgomery, Ala., 
Secretary; B. M. Bm'gher, Dallas, Tex.; M. 
L. Walton, Woodstock, Va. D. M. Smith, 
Nashville, Tenn., is the Treasurer of the 
Board. 

Statistics. — Number of schools, 14,396; offi- 
cers and teachers, 103,476; scholars, 884,329. 
Total in schools, 987,805. 

Literature. — Sunday School Magazine, 48,- 
800; Senior Quarterly, 325,000; Intermediate 
Quarterly, 300,000; Home Department Quar- 
terly, 9,300; Children's Visitor, 68,500; Illus- 
trated Lesson Paper, 130,000; Our Little 



FLBI.DS OF WORK. 167 

People, 205,000; Olivet Picture Cards, sets, 
70,000. Total circulation in 1902, 1,156,600. 

Bible TeacJiers^ Study Circle. — This de- 
partment of training work was fully organ- 
ized by the General Conference of 1902, and 
Dr. H. M. Hamill was elected by the Sunday 
School Board Superintendent of Training 
Work. 

The course for teachers is as follows: 

First Course: "History of Sunday Schools," 
by W. G. E. Cunnyngham, D.D.; "Bible 
Studies," by A. E. Dunning, D.D.; "The 
Sunday School Teacher," by H. lili. Hamill, 
D.D. 

Second Course: "Short History of Metho- 
dism," by J. W. Boswell, D.D.; "The Books 
of the Bible," by H. M. Hamill, D.D.; "The 
Doctrines and Polity of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South," by W. F. Tillett, D.D., 
and James Atkins, D.D. 

There is a seventh book for superintend- 
ents and other officers — "The Organized Sun- 
day School," by Axtell. On the completion 
of the first course a certificate is issued to 
each teacher who meets the required stand- 
ard, and at the end of the second course a full 
diploma is awarded by the Sunday School De- 
partment. 



168 OITB POLITt. 

The Sunday School and Missions.— Bj or- 
der of the General Conference, every Sunday 
school is a missionary society. The order of 
work is the setting apart of one Sunday in 
each month as missionary day, the collection 
on which goes to the use of the Board of 
Missions; and in October a Missionary Rally 
Day, with a collection for the same purpose. 
The Sunday schools are now raising an extra 
fund of $10,000 to endow a chair in the Soo- 
chow University. The amount raised by our 
schools for missions is now about $50,000 a 
year. 

The amount raised on Children's Day for 
aiding destitute schools, and especially for 
helping Sunday schools in foreign mission 
jfields, is about $15,000 per year. 

The Board of Church Extension. 

This Board was organized in 1882. The 
originator of it, and its Secretary to the time 
of his death, was Rev. David Morton, D.D. 

The purpose of the Board is to aid in the 
purchase or securing of church lots, and the 
erection or securing of church buildings and 
parsonages. The office of the Board is lo- 
cated at Louisville, Ky. 

Each Annual Conference has an auxiliary 



FIBLDS OF WOBK. 169 

of the Church Extension Board, which is en- 
titled to retain and apply within the bounds 
of the Conference fifty per cent of all funds 
coming into its hands, the other fifty per 
cent passing to the Parent Board for admin- 
istration. The Board has a loan fund of 
$200,000. 

The General and Annual Conference Boards, 
since their organization, have aided 4,946 
Churches, with $942,642 in gifts and $433,- 
645 in loans. West of the Mississippi 1,816 
Churches, have been helped; east of the Mis- 
sissippi, 3,101; and in the mission fields, 29. 
Amount spent in helping Churches in mission 
fields, $21,532. Amount donated to Churches 
in the West by the General Board, $272,430; 
in the East, $148,437. The assessment on the 
Churches for the year 1902-03 is $125,460. 

The oflScers of the Board are: Presley Me- 
guiar. President, Louisville, Ky.; R. B. Gil- 
bert, M.D., Vice President, Louisville, Ky.; 
Rev. P. H. Whisner, Corresponding Secre- 
tary, Louisville, Ky.; John Ouerbacker, 
Treasurer, Louisville, Ky. 

The Epwoeth League. 

Acting on a memorial submitted by the 
Church Conference of Trinity Church, Los 



170 OtTB POLITY. 

Angeles, Cal., the General Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at its 
meeting in the city of St. Louis, in May, 
1890, ordered the foundation, under the direc- 
tion of the Sunday School Department, of 
Young People's Leagues "for the promotion 
of piety and loyalty to the Church." This 
was the organic beginning of the Epworth 
League in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, which was the first of the great bod- 
ies of Christendom to make its young people's 
organization a part of its corporate life. 
Since its reorganization, in 1894, as a sepa- 
rate department of connectional work, the 
Epworth League has chartered 5,839 Senior 
and 866 Junior Chapters. 

The several departments of League work 
are in healthy condition. About 6,000 vol- 
umes are annually circulated in its Reading 
Courses. The General Minutes of the Church 
credit to it between $50,000 and $75,000 con- 
tributed to the causes of the Church. The 
most considerable of these contributions is 
made to the cause of missions. The Epworth 
Era, published at Nashville, Tenn., is the or- 
gan of the League. The year just closed has 
been the most prosperous in the history of 
the organization. 



FISUDS OF WORK. 



171 



The oflBcers of the General Epworth 
League Board are: Bishop W. A. Candler, 
President, Atlanta, Ga. ; and H. M. Du Bose, 
D.D., General Secretary. 

The Boakd of Education. 

The Board of Education of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, was established by 
the General Conference at Memphis, in May, 
1894. 

During its existence of eight years the 
Board has organized and is now operating a 
teachers' bureau; raised $25,000 for a new 
building at Paine Institute, known as "Hay- 
good Memorial Hall;" stimulated the An- 
nual Conferences to lift their assessments 
for education from a total of $70,750 in 1897 
to a total of $93,160 in 1901; conducted a 
campaign which resulted in a thank offer- 
ing for education amounting to more than 
$1,500,000; secured a better classification of 
our institutions, and their more harmonious 
adjustment in a system. 

Statistics.— ThQ latest report of the Board 
shows that the Church has one university, 18 
colleges, 103 secondary schools, 8 affiliated 
schools, and 64 mission schools of all grades, 
domestic and foreign. In connection with 



172 OUB POLITY. 

the Biblical Department of Vanderbilt Uni- 
versity and under the direction of its faculty, 
the Board has also recently established a Cor- 
respondence School for ministers which is now 
in successful operation, with an enrollment of 
nearly one hundred and fifty pupils. 

The officers of the Board are as follows: 
Bishop C. B. Galloway, President; Bishop E. 
R. Hendrix, Vice President; Chancellor J. H. 
Kirkland, Recording Secretary; Rev. J. D. 
Hammond, Corresponding Secretary. 

The Treasurer of the Board is Mr. D. M. 
Smith, Nashville, Tenn. 



Statistics of Methodist Episcopal Church, 

South, 1901. 

Pastoral charges 5,037 

Number of societies 17,898 

Traveling preachers 6,293 

Local preachers 4,983 

Members 1,505,241 

Total membership 1,516,516 

Value of Publishing House, less all liabili- 
ties, $926,094.53. 

Combined circulation of periodicals issued 
by the House, 1,156,600 copies. 

The Agents for the House for 1902-06 are 
Messrs. Bigham and Smith, Nashville, Tenn. 



Sill 



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